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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Gehring, J. L. [1], Lencioni, E. [1], Ciesko, M. [1], Berner, F. [1], Bush, S. [1].

Leaf functional traits and RAPD markers in Gentiana puberulenta, Gentiana flavida and their hybrids.

Hybridization between ecologically divergent species often results in intermediate phenotypes and sometimes allows fitness-related genes to move between species. We studied leaf functional traits in two gentian species that usually grow in different prairie habitats but are hybridizing in a prairie restoration project in central Illinois. Based on interspecific differences in habitat, leaf size and leaf color, we predicted Gentiana puberulenta leaves would be thicker (lower specific leaf area, SLA), have higher nitrogen (N) concentrations and higher chlorophyll (chl) content compared to G. flavida. Furthermore, we predicted phenotypic values would be correlated with percent of species-specific RAPD (Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA) bands. We sampled paired plants growing near one another, choosing one plant with relatively short stems and small leaves (presumed to be G. puberulenta or backcrosses of hybrids with G. puberulenta) and the other with comparatively tall stems and large leaves (presumed to be G. flavida or backcrosses of hybrids with G. flavida). The RAPD results indicated most large-leaved plants were pure G. flavida whereas most small-leaved plants were apparently backcrosses with G. puberulenta. As expected, G. puberulenta leaves were smaller and had higher total chl content than did those of G. flavida. Gentiana puberulenta leaves also had higher chl a/b ratios. Area of the largest leaf, total chl content and chl a/b ratio were significantly correlated with the proportion of species-specific RAPD bands. However, contrary to our predictions, SLA and N concentration did not differ between species.

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1 - Bradley University, Department of Biology, 1501 W. Bradley Avenue, Peoria, Illinois, 61625, USA

specific leaf area
chlorophyll concentration
nitrogen content
restored prairie.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P49034
Abstract ID:978

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