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Genetics Section

Aldrich, Preston [1], Ondracek, Caitlin [1], Shiao, Derek [1], Rawal, Ankit [1], Kapadia, Shyam [1], Nasaruddin, Syeda [1], Sokolowski, Karen [1], Huebner, Cynthia [2], Greer, Gary [3].

Molecular genetic variation in U.S. populations of the invasive tree Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae).

Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) is an urban weed tree that is encroaching into forested areas in many parts of the U.S. Its rapid growth, prolific seed production, and toxic chemistry appear to have contributed to its rapid expansion following at least one introduction into the east coast and possibly several west-coast introductions during the 1800's. We are studying the genetic and biochemical variation in natural U.S. populations of the species and report here on findings regarding molecular genetic structure. We are sequencing ~1 kb intergenic regions of the chloroplast genome using conserved sequence primers. These have resolved haplotypes involving microsatellite loci (mononucleotide repeats). We also are querying larger chloroplast amplicons (2-3 kb) using PCR-RFLP assays. Analyses focus on evaluating the degree of genetic differentiation across twelve sites from West Virginia to California, and comparing the chloroplast variation to that found in the nuclear genome. Results will be used to improve management.


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1 - Benedictine University, Department of Biological Sciences, 5700 College Road, Lisle, Illinois, 60532-0900, USA
2 - NE Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 180 Canfield St., Morgantown, West Virginia, 26505, USA
3 - Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, Michigan, 49401, USA

Keywords:
Chloroplast genome
DNA sequence
genetic diversity
Invasive Species
local adaptation
PCR-RFLP.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 33-49
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:453


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