Presentation Title

Hybridization in the Encelia (Asteraceae) family

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sonal Singhal

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:15 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:30 PM

Location

Markstein 209

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Due to changing resources and environments, species can undergo adaptive radiation. The radiation of desert shrubs in the genus Encelia resulted in several morphological and physiological differences across the species, with each species suited for a different environment. In nature, members of Encelia can interbreed to form hybrids. E. ventorum hybridizes with E. Encelia palmeri and at a separate ecotone with E. asperifolia. At a given ecotone, viable hybrids form; however, those hybrids are restricted to ecotone since they cannot survive in either of their parents’ environments.

Our study analyzes the genotypes and phenotypes of the hybrids (N = 112 for E. palmeri - E.ventorum & 91 for E. asperifolia - E. ventorum) collected across each ecotone. We collected genetic data using double-digest restriction aided sequencing (ddRAD), and we collected phenotypic data for leaf size and shape. These data will give us a visualization of phenotypes and genotypes across parents and hybrids and how they are distributed across the ecotone.

Divergent natural selection might be acting upon Encelia hybrids, which might help explain the rapid diversification in this genus. Therefore, understanding the hybrids’ formation and their composition can answer various questions about adaptive radiation. It will allow us to correlate genetic and phenotypic measures of hybrid index, which will help us understand how genetic changes can result in phenotypic change and the possible barriers that might be preventing E. ventorum, E. asperifolia, and E. palmeri from merging into one species. Finally, rapid rates of hybridization can increase genetic variety, which can spur on evolution.

Key words: Adaptive Radiation, Rapid Diversification, Hybridization, Ecotone, Natural selection, genetic variety

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Nov 23rd, 1:15 PM Nov 23rd, 1:30 PM

Hybridization in the Encelia (Asteraceae) family

Markstein 209

Due to changing resources and environments, species can undergo adaptive radiation. The radiation of desert shrubs in the genus Encelia resulted in several morphological and physiological differences across the species, with each species suited for a different environment. In nature, members of Encelia can interbreed to form hybrids. E. ventorum hybridizes with E. Encelia palmeri and at a separate ecotone with E. asperifolia. At a given ecotone, viable hybrids form; however, those hybrids are restricted to ecotone since they cannot survive in either of their parents’ environments.

Our study analyzes the genotypes and phenotypes of the hybrids (N = 112 for E. palmeri - E.ventorum & 91 for E. asperifolia - E. ventorum) collected across each ecotone. We collected genetic data using double-digest restriction aided sequencing (ddRAD), and we collected phenotypic data for leaf size and shape. These data will give us a visualization of phenotypes and genotypes across parents and hybrids and how they are distributed across the ecotone.

Divergent natural selection might be acting upon Encelia hybrids, which might help explain the rapid diversification in this genus. Therefore, understanding the hybrids’ formation and their composition can answer various questions about adaptive radiation. It will allow us to correlate genetic and phenotypic measures of hybrid index, which will help us understand how genetic changes can result in phenotypic change and the possible barriers that might be preventing E. ventorum, E. asperifolia, and E. palmeri from merging into one species. Finally, rapid rates of hybridization can increase genetic variety, which can spur on evolution.

Key words: Adaptive Radiation, Rapid Diversification, Hybridization, Ecotone, Natural selection, genetic variety