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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Schwabe, Anna [1], Neale, Jennifer [2], McGlaughlin, Mitchell E [1].

Analysis of nuclear DNA from S. glaucus and S. parviflorus to determine the level of directionality and hybridization between these two species.

Sclerocactus glaucus (Cactaceae), the Colorado Hookless cactus is an endangered plant species endemic to Colorado. Presently there is concern that S. glaucus is hybridizing with the closely related and more common S. parviflorus. If there is extensive hybridization between these two species it is possible that S. glaucus will effectively become extinct. Sclercactus glaucus is found in western Colorado and historic estimations place the numbers of individuals at about 10,000. Current estimates of individuals predict much lower numbers as many of the sites have not been visited for over ten years. The purpose of this project is to examine the genetic structure within and among Sclerocactus populations to explore the extent of gene flow from S.parviflorus potentially threatening the continued existence of S. glaucus. Collaborators at the Denver Botanic Garden have collected floral tissue from about 800 individuals from both species in 35 distinct populations. The genetic data collected from nuclear microsatellite markers in these individuals will be used to determine the level of diversity between and among S. glaucus populations as well as the level of hybridization between S. glaucus and S. parviflorus. The DNA analysis will include development of a microsatellite library that will be used to develop 15 loci for genotyping individuals. Additionally, the genetic data will be used to assess the possibility that S. glaucus and S. parviflorus are converging to form one species or if there are two distinct and separate species. It is our expectation that these two species are hybridizing in many areas but there may still be some populations of S. glaucus which are isolated and are not hybridizing with S. parviflorus. If there are pristine populations of S. glaucus they can be identified and managed so this rare Colorado native cactus can be preserved.

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1 - University of Northern Colorado, Biology, 501 20th St, Box 92, Greeley, CO, 80639, USA
2 - Denver Botanic Gardens, University Of Colorado Museum, 909 York Street, Denver, CO, 80206, USA

conservation genetics

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB002
Abstract ID:292

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