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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Amsberry, Kelly [1], Meinke, Robert J. [1].

Consequences of sterility on the recovery of Fritillaria gentneri (Liliaceae), an endemic lily in southern Oregon.

FRITILLARIA gentneri (Gentnerís fritillary), one of Oregonís most spectacular native wildflowers, is listed as endangered by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). A Recovery Plan for this species, including recommendations for population augmentation and reintroduction, was released by USFWS in 2003. Our six-year study evaluates the seed production capability of F. gentneri, both to determine the potential for using wild-collected or cultivated seed in recovery projects, and to elucidate the breeding system and potential hybrid origin of this unusual lily. A series of hybridization events between two common congeners, F. recurva and F. affinis, has been suggested as the origin of F. gentneri, with hybrid plants persisting through asexual bulblet production. Controlled pollination treatments on plants in six field sites, and on cultivated plants at OSU, document the inability of F. gentneri to produce seed from conspecific pollinations, corroborating cytological and molecular evidence of a hybrid origin for this species. Flowers of F. gentneri produced fruit consistently when pollinated with pollen from the closely related F. recurva, but very rarely when pollinated with conspecific pollen. Pollination with pollen from F. affinis also resulted in pod production by F. gentneri, but at a lower rate than produced by F. recurva. Additionally, crosses between the putative parents produced pods. Pollination treatment did not affect the number of seeds produced per fruit, or the number of embryo-containing seeds. Pollen germination studies of the three fritillaries documented the relative sterility of F. gentneri pollen, probably due to chromosomal pairing abnormalities during meiosis. Low seed production, combined with the inability to determine the male parent of open-pollinated progeny, limit the value of collecting native seed for recovery projects - as a result, population creation and augmentation efforts currently focus on transplant production through asexual bulblet propagation.

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1 - Oregon State University, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331-2902, USA

breeding system
rare plant conservation

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 43-7
Location: 108/Tehama
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 11:45 AM
Abstract ID:357

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