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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Paasch , Amber Elizabeth [1], Fisher, Kirsten [1].

Assessment of genetic diversity in the Mojave Desert moss Syntrichia caninervis using microsatellite markers.

Syntrichia caninervis is a moss representing an important component of biotic crust communities in the Mojave Desert. Syntrichia caninervis is dioecious, and reduces production of sexual organs when exposed to environmental stress. When sex is expressed, the ratio between males and females is skewed, with males being extremely rare. These sex ratios differ between elevations, with the highest elevation populations having a ratio of 14 females to 1 male, and no male sex expression observed in the more stressful lower elevation populations. These ratios suggest that these populations in the Mojave Desert may be sustaining themselves through clonal growth, which threatens their genetic diversity. Additionally, the more stressed lower elevation populations may have a greater loss of genetic diversity than the higher elevation less stressed populations. To assess genetic diversity, we collected samples of S. caninervis from two higher elevation populations and two lower elevation populations at the eastern and western edges of the Mojave Desert. Ninety plants from each population were genotyped using eight microsatellite regions we developed. Here we report on the level of genetic differentiation observed between these populations, as well as the spatial genetic structuring observed in the western Mojave population. These data represent the first characterization of genetic diversity in S. caninervis. Understanding the genetic structure of this unique species will help clarify the impact of environmental stress on genetic diversity in mosses.

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1 - California State University, Los Angeles, Biological Sciences, 5151 State University Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90014, USA

syntrichia caninervis
population genetics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 14
Location: Morrow/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 14002
Abstract ID:705

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