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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics/Genomics

Bellangue, David [1], Skarha, Shannon [2], Bassuner, Burgund [2], Albrecht, Matthew [3], Edwards, Christine [4].

Evidence for admixture between remnant and transplanted individuals in Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii).

Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii) is a federally threatened, self-incompatible species restricted to untilled tallgrass prairie remnants in Central North America. Its initial endangerment was caused by the widespread conversion of tallgrass prairie to agriculture and urban sprawl. Currently its recovery is hampered by low fecundity, which was hypothesized to be due to lack of compatible mates as a consequence of low genetic diversity, clonality, and self-incompatibility. In an effort to boost fecundity, several populations were subject to reintroductions where plants from different populations were planted alongside remnant plants at Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie. We collected individuals from Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie and genotyped them used 12 microsatellite loci. We analyzed patterns of genetic diversity to 1) determine whether the reinforcement program has had the desired effect of promoting reproduction between the remnant and introduced individuals and 2) Examine the greater conservation implications of using reinforcements to increase the fecundity and promote the recovery of A. meadii. As found in previous studies, genetic analyses revealed high clonality among remnant plants. Resulting STRUCTURE and PCA analyses found evidence of admixture between remnant and transplanted plants, and showed that all admixture has occurred between introduced and remnant plants, suggesting that low mate availability had previously limited fecundity. However, since no fruits were produced at WKT this year, this suggests that other factors such as rainfall and land management may also limit fecundity. This study is part of a larger project that when completed, will provide more data to understand the effects of genetic diversity on the fecundity and to evaluate the utility of using reinforcements to improve fecundity.

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1 - Warren Wilson College, 701 Warren Wilson Rd., Swannanoa, NC, 28778
2 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63110, United States
3 - P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO, 63166, United States
4 - Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63110, United States

Mead’s milkweed
Prairie Ecosystems

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Population Genetics/Genomics Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PPG011
Abstract ID:636
Candidate for Awards:None

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