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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Philpott, Megan [1], Pence, Valerie [2], Culley, Theresa [3].

An “exceptional” reintroduction: A case-study of the reintroduction of the federally endangered Minuartia cumberlandensis using in vitro techniques.

Climate change & habitat loss represent major threats to plant conservation worldwide, elevating the need for effective reintroduction techniques. While many species can be propagated using seeds, a substantial number of “exceptional species” cannot be propagated and preserved using conventional methods. Minuartia cumberlandensis, a federally endangered perennial found in Kentucky and Tennessee, is one such species due to its rarity and low seed germination rates. In order to test the efficacy of the alternative propagation method of plant tissue culture as a means of ex situ conservation for this species, M. cumberlandensis seeds were collected in 1995 from a natural population and propagated using plant tissue culture. Due to low germination rates, only seven genotypes were successfully initiated into culture, representing a potential genetic bottleneck in the founding of the population. To test the use of tissue culture in a potential reintroduction, in 2005 an experimental outplanting was created in Daniel Boone National Forest KY where the species had not previously been found, using 77 plants propagated from the seven tissue culture genotypes. As of 2015, 10 years after the initial planting, the experimental outplanting had grown to over 200 individuals (over 250% increase). Despite the appearance of success, the genetic structure of the outplanting was unknown. Consequently, DNA samples were collected in 2013 from 111 individuals in the outplanting population, the natural source population, and an “outgroup” population located approximately 1 km from the source population. In addition, DNA samples from 5 of the original 7 genotypes used to populate the experimental outplanting were sampled. Individuals were genotyped using 4 sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers which produced 242 bands scored as dominant markers. Population genetic structure and diversity were assessed using Hickory v. 1.1, a Bayesian population genetics analysis program. Population differentiation among all populations was very low (θ(II)=0.03). However, genetic diversity among all the groups was low as well, as measured by average panmictic heterozygosity (HS=0.16). From these results, we conclude that despite the initial genetic bottleneck, the experimental outplanting has been successful both in terms of population growth and genetic similarity to the natural source population. This is likely due to low genetic diversity in the natural populations, a phenomenon that is more common in rare and endangered plants. This study demonstrates that reintroductions of rare species can be successful despite low numbers of founding individuals, if natural habitat conditions and genetic diversity are preserved.

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1 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 703A Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006, USA
2 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Center for Conservation and Resear, Plant Research Division, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220, United States
3 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 703 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 5221-0006, United States

Tissue Culture
population genetics.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT029
Abstract ID:1222
Candidate for Awards:None

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