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Genetics Section

Scott, Lynne [1], Molano-Flores, Brenda [2], Koontz, Jason [3].

Genetic Diversity and Potential Hybridization in Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii (Asteraceae), a USFS Regional Forester.

A major issue conservationists are often faced with is a lack of information on life history traits and population genetics of rare plants. An understanding of the overall genetic diversity found in rare species' populations can be critical information to the success of a management plan. An additional concern with many rare species is potential hybridization with associated cultivars. Hybridization can facilitate the evolution of weedy and invasive species and even result in extinction. Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii (Sullivant's Coneflower) is a target species for conservation and restoration due to its classification as a sensitive species by the USDA Forest Service. This species also has an extensively used cultivar named "Goldstrum." In order to aid in the restoration efforts of this species, and explore possible gene flow between the cultivar and wild type, information on genetic diversity and hybridization potential of Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii populations in Illinois has been collected. Leaf samples from eight wild and two cultivar populations were used to determine genetic diversity differences. Hybridization potential was determined through reciprocal crosses in the greenhouse between the wild and cultivar individuals. RAPD results show little difference in genetic variation between wild and cultivar populations aside from one locus, although results do indicate allelic differences among wild populations within a small geographic range. Crosses between wild and cultivar plants have resulted in seed set. These results suggest that until further information is known, both wild and cultivar populations should be kept separate to prevent gene flow and maintain the genetic integrity of the wild populations.

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1 - University of Illinois, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, W-503 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin, Champaign, Illinois, 61820, USA
2 - Illinois Natural History Survey, Center For Wildlife & Plant Ecology, 607 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois, 61820, USA
3 - Augustana College, Department of Biology, 639 38Th Street, Rock Island, Illinois, 61201, USA

Rare Plants, Genetics, Hybridization .

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 1-13
Location: 412/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 11:15 AM
Abstract ID:50

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