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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences and
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Plant Biology

PI: Peter L. Tiffin

Associate Mapping and Comparative Population Genomics for Poplar; Ecological and Evolutionary Limits to Species Range Expansion

This researcher has been involved with two projects during this period. The first developed population genetic tools to conduct associate mapping and to understand evolutionary history of the species Populus (poplar). Populus is not only important economically, ecologically, and environmentally, it is the model organism for hardwood tree genomics and physiology. The project involved developing the tools, evaluating their utility, and used comparative population genomic analyses to test whether the same nucleotides and genes are responsible for phenotypic variation and adaptive evolution of bud set in North American P. balsamifera and European P. tremula.

In the second project, the researcher is examining gene flow, population sizes, and founder events using molecular data collected from individuals sampled from six subpopulations of Clarkia xantiana (gunsight Clarkia, an annual herb limited to California). These parameters are necessary for evaluating the predictions of theories developed to explain the failure of species to expand their range across continuously changing environments.