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Abstract Detail


Harper, Stephanie [1], McDonnell, Angela [2], Cantley, Jason T. [3], Martine, Christopher [4].

Molecular evidence for distinctiveness of two forms of the Hawaiian endemic, Chenopodium oahuense (Amaranthaceae).

Boasting the highest sea cliffs in the world, the northwestern coast of Moloka'i presents numerous challenges to plant life there, including constant battering by high winds and salt water from North Pacific swells and limited annual precipitation in some areas. The harshness of these volcanic sea cliff habitats demands adaptability in its flora, including one population of Chenopodium long presumed to be an unusual form of C. oahense. Not only does this population thrive, but it is morphologically different from other C. oahuense populations found across the Hawaiian archipelago. Chenopodium oahuense leaves typically present with a large trilobed phenotype coupled with an erect stem growth habit. Alternatively, the Moloka'i population's leaves are almost reniform and the stems are markedly decumbent. Inspired by the divergent morphological traits we observed within the Moloka'i population, we have conducted a phylogenetic study of the Hawaiian plants via DNA extraction from 23 individuals and sequencing of the plastid gene rpl32-trnL and the ITS1-5.85 rDNA-ITS2 nuclear region. We explore whether a divergence event has occurred using maximum likelihood analyses, which suggest some molecular divergence in the sampled DNA regions. Our results suggest that the Moloka'I populations warrant recognition as distinct from C. oahuense at some level. Continued study of Chenopodium 'sp. Moloka'i' will lead to a better understanding of how plants have evolved to thrive in extreme habitats, specifically environments subject to high salinity and little fresh water, and may contribute to efforts to conserve other unusual plant populations in Moloka'i. 

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1 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA
2 - Bucknell University, Biology, 20 N. 7th St, Bucknell University Biology Department, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States
3 - San Francisco State University, Biology, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94132, USA
4 - Bucknell University, Bucknell University, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States

undergraduate research.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Floristics
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 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: PFL004
Abstract ID:587
Candidate for Awards:None

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