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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Harris, James G. [1].

The Rediscovery of Braya pilosa (Brassicaceae): Solving a 150-Year-Old Taxonomic Mystery.

BRAYA pilosa was discovered in 1826 along the coast of Arctic Canada by John Richardson, naturalist with Sir John Franklinís 2nd expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. Two additional collections of the plant were made by arctic explorers in 1848 and 1850, but the species was subsequently lost to science for 154 years. The lack of fruiting material for study in North American herbaria resulted in much speculation about the existence and taxonomic status of B. pilosa. Some botanists misapplied the name to collections of B. glabella, others wondered if the species were extinct, and still others speculated that B. pilosa might actually be a misidentified Draba species. An examination of Richardsonís 1826 journals indicated that the type locality of B. pilosa was probably on Cape Bathurst Peninsula in the Northwest Territories of Canada, 200 km east of its published location. A recent search of the presumed type locality resulted in the rediscovery of an extant population of B. pilosa. DNA sequence data confirm that B. pilosa is properly placed in the genus Braya and indicate that B. thorild-wulffii, another North American Arctic endemic, is its closest relative. There is evidence that B. pilosa survived Pleistocene glaciation at the eastern edge of the Beringia Refugium, that it is an allogamous diploid, and that it may be a parent to more widely distributed autogamous polyploid Braya taxa.

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1 - Utah Valley State College, Biology Department, 800 W University Parkway, Orem, Utah, 84058, USA

Braya pilosa
Beringia Refugium.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 30-14
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 11:45 AM
Abstract ID:216

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