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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Philpott, Megan [1], Culley, Theresa [2], Pence, Valerie [3].

Population genetic analysis and ex situ conservation of the endangered exceptional species Hedeoma todsenii.

Exceptional species are those taxa which cannot be seed-banked using traditional means, and therefore must be conserved ex situ and/or propagated using methods like cryopreservation and tissue culture. Hedeoma todsenii is an endangered exceptional species found on two isolated mountain ranges in New Mexico, with one set of populations found along the San Andres mountains, and one set found along the Sacramento mountains. The two mountain ranges run parallel to each other and are separated by roughly 75km. The distance between the two populations, low incidence of pollinator visits, and low seed-set and germination rates all likely contribute to both the exceptional nature of the species and potentially low gene flow between populations found on opposing mountain ranges. Over the course of five years, populations from both mountain ranges were sampled for genetic analysis to determine levels of genetic diversity and likelihood of gene flow between the two populations. Using nearly 500 sampled individuals across 11 populations in the San Andres mountains and six populations in the Sacramento mountains, we were able to examine genetic diversity using four microsatellite markers. Genetic analysis of linkage disequilibrium revealed evidence of clonal reproduction in most of the Sacramento mountains populations and a third of the San Andres populations. Genetic diversity was slightly higher in the Sacramento mountains populations, however (Nei’s unbiased gene diversity: Sacramento = 0.69, San Andres = 0.38). An overall fairly high level of population structure (G’ST = 0.63) combined with a fairly low measure for Jost’s D (0.23) indicate that populations are likely trending toward fixation overall, possibly as a consequence of reduced pollinator visits or pollinator range. In order to protect the species for future potential reintroductions, representatives from nearly all San Andres populations and a few of the Sacramento populations have been cryopreserved and banked for long-term storage in CREW’s CryoBioBank at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

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1 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, CREW, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH, 45220, United States
2 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, United States
3 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45220, United States

ex situ
Tissue Culture
exceptional species
endangered species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB02, Conservation Biology 2
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: CB02001
Abstract ID:611
Candidate for Awards:None

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