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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology

Sharpe, Samantha Lipson [1], Johnson, Loretta C. [2], Bello, Nora [3], Galliart, Matt [2], Parrish, Olivia [4].

Rapid evolution in a disturbed environment: evolutionary response of native grass Andropogon virginicus to heavy metals in an abandoned mine site.

Anthropogenic activities have severely altered the earth’s ecosystems, driving many species to undergo rapid evolution in response to extreme and changing environmental conditions. My research investigates genotypic and phenotypic components of adaptive variation in heavy metal exposed populations of Andropogon virginicus, a common perennial grass that often grows in contaminated mine soil. The study area is the Tar Creek EPA Superfund Site, an abandoned Lead and Zinc mine active for 100 years that spans Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Using a greenhouse soil reciprocal transplant, I am comparing populations of A. virginicus collected from Tar Creek with those collected from nearby non-mine sites to determine if ecotypic adaptation to contaminated soils has occurred in mine populations. To assess phenotypic adaptation, I have measured vegetative morphology (height, biomass), fitness (seed production), and physiology (photosynthesis, SPAD) over the course of the growing season. Plants from 20 populations have been genotyped with GBS to analyze differentiation on the genetic level. We identified ~6,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 47 outliers under divergent selection between mine and non-mine populations, two of which are related to Zinc binding. For both of these SNPs, a single allele is fixed in the mine populations while both alleles are present in equal frequency in non-mine populations, indicating greater selection for one allele variant in the mine site. Preliminary evidence supports phenotypic differences between mine and non-mine populations, including a potential trade off in mine populations between reproduction and vegetative growth. In a greenhouse reciprocal soil transplant, plants from mine populations produced more biomass than plants from old field populations, but mine plants were half as likely to flower as old field plants. These results indicate genotypic and phenotypic divergence between mine and non-mine populations linked to metal tolerance. To further compare genomic divergence and phenotypic plasticity in mine and non-mine populations, I will next perform a field reciprocal transplant with mine and non-mine plants, as well as additional genomic and transcriptomic comparisons.

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1 - Kansas State University , Division of Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University , Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA
2 - Kansas State University, Division of Biology, 315 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, United States
3 - Kansas State University, Department of Statistics, 002 Dickens Hall, Kansas State University , Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA
4 - Kanas State University , Division of Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University , Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA

Local adaptation
evolutionary history.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Molecular Ecology
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PME001
Abstract ID:420
Candidate for Awards:None

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