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Systematics Section / ASPT

Reichman, Jay R. [1], Watrud, Lidia S. [1], Brewer, James F. [2], Smith, Bonnie M. [2].

Species level markers within the genus Agrostis (Poaceae): molecular phylogenetic comparisons based on variations in nrDNA ITS and cpDNA matK.

It is estimated that there are up to 200 species of Agrostis worldwide; approximately 30 species have been reported in North America. The genus contains diploid, allotetraploid and allohexaploid species in diverse habitats. A. stolonifera hybridizes with at least thirteen species within Agrostis and Polypogon, and it is also one of the first wind-pollinated, outcrossing perennials to be genetically engineered for commercial use outside of an agronomic system, i.e., for use on golf courses. Given the likelihood of transgene flow to wild populations, we are interested in developing species level molecular markers for Agrostis that could be used to improve identification of species, hybrids, and potentially compatible recipients. Such markers could serve to track potential introgression of genes from genetically engineered or non-engineered A. stolonifera. Furthermore, the information may assist reconstruction of evolutionary relationships within the genus. Using molecular phylogenetic comparisons based on variations in nrDNA ITS, and cpDNA matK, we found the best resolution between compatible North American species. In addition, sequences from known interspecific hybrids were correctly placed within both ITS and matK bifurcating trees despite disagreement on the relative placement of A. exarata, A. idahoensis and A. scabra. Based on these results, we are evaluating the feasibility of using ITS and matK sequence data to identify gene flow from transgenic A. stolonifera to wild Agrostis or Polypogon spp. Resolution of ancient hybridizations leading to the reticulated evolution of allopolyploid species within Agrostis will require comparisons using additional biparentally inherited loci besides ITS. However, ITS and matK sequence data will complement morphological and DNA fragment analyses to assess the identity transgenic plants found growing in the wild.

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1 - US Environmental Protection Agency, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, Oregon, 97333, USA
2 - Dynamac Corporation, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, Oregon, 97333, USA

Species-specific Detection
hybrid identification

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 3-9
Location: Salon J - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 10:45 AM
Abstract ID:395

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