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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Werth, Silke [1], Sork, Victoria [2].

Local genetic structure and host specificity in an epiphytic lichen, Ramalina menziesii.

LICHENS are symbiotic associations between fungi, green algae and/or cyanobacteria; this symbiosis is common in most terrestrial ecosystems. Vegetative and sexual propagules of lichens are minute and predominantly wind-dispersed, and thus one would expect that they can disperse over long distances. On the other hand, many wind dispersed species have a great deal of genetic structure. We are studying a western North American lichen species, Ramalina menziesii, which in California is epiphytic primarily on oak trees (Quercus spp.), often showing a host preference within a given site. Our two primary questions were: (1) What is the genetic structure of this species within a site? (2) Is its preference for some oak species over others reflected in its genetic structure? Our study site was the UC Santa Barbara Sedgwick Natural Preserve, located within the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara Co., California. We sampled 72 specimens of Ramalina menziesii across four subpopulations and three oak host species (Q. agrifolia, Q. douglasii, and Q. lobata). Based on sequences from four polymorphic nuclear fungal loci, we found neither significant genetic differentiation among subpopulations nor among host species. These results imply high levels of local gene flow and speak against host specific strains of R. menziesii.

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1 - University of California at Los Angeles, Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Warren Hall 23-163, 900 Veteran Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90024, United States
2 - University of California Los Angeles, Department Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 900 Veteran Ave, Los Angeles, California, 90024, USA

Lichenized ascomycetes
population genetics
host specificity
Epiphytic lichens

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: 48a-23
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:1100

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