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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

McLetchie, Nicholas [1], Adams, Kelly [1], Crowley, Philip [1].

The relationship between sex expression and genetic variation in the liverwort Marchantia inflexa.

BRYOPHYTE population sex ratios vary from all female to all male. One common pattern in these populations is the presence of individuals that are not sex expressing. An often-asked question is: what is the sex of these non-sex expressing plants? Another interesting question is: are non-sex expressing plants genetically different from sex expressing plants? This latter question is the goal of this study. Marchantia inflexa is a liverwort that grows along forested streams in Trinidad, West Indies. While populations are generally female biased most populations consist of non-sex expressing individuals. We used seven polymorphic microsatellite loci to compare individuals, each collected along a single river from distinct patches that contained sex expressing or non-sex expressing individuals. After culturing these isolates in a greenhouse, the non-sex expressing individuals sex expressed. Thus, we had four categories of sex: (i) female and (ii) male plants collected while sex expressing, and (iii) female and (iv) male plants collected while not sex expressing. Of the 55 plants analyzed, we found 42 unique genotypes. Overall, the female groups tended to have more unique genotypes compared to the male groups. The non-sex expressing male group was genetically different from the two female groups. All other pair-wise comparisons were not significant. These results suggest that male plants rely more on asexual reproduction for propagation compared to female plants, and in this liverwort population genetic structure that is associated, in part, with sex and the ability to express sex in the field.

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1 - University of Kentucky, Department of Biological Sciences, 101 Morgan Bld, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0225, USA

genetic variation
sex expression.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21-1
Location: 304/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:30 PM
Abstract ID:197

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