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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Winkeljohn, Max [1], Pence, Valerie [2], Culley, Theresa [3].

Improving In-Vitro Growth of Critically Endangered Hinckley’s Oak (Quercus hinckleyi) Through Manipulation of Nutrient Availability.

Like so many other species, oaks are constantly under threat from a multitude of forces such as disease, agriculture, and climate change. The most recent analysis estimates that roughly 41% of all oak species are in need of conservation. One such species is Hinckley’s Oak (Quercus hinckleyi), a shrubby oak native to southwest Texas that is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered. Like all oaks, Q. hinckleyi is an exceptional species, meaning that the sensitivity of its acorns to desiccation prevents it from being seedbanked, and thus conservation of this species currently relies heavily on ex situ methods such as tissue culturing or cryopreservation. In vitro micropropagation in particular offers a range of conservation applications, including the preservation of genes ex situ, the multiplication of individuals for outplanting, and the production of material to be cryopreserved. However, standard tissue culture protocols are typically quite generalized, and may not represent the most effective growing conditions for any given species. In order to maximize micropropagation of Q. hinckleyi, the relationship between nutrient availability and the growth of shoots in vitro was investigated. Component ions of the culturing medium were broken into five groups and co-varied at either low (0.5x) or high (1.5x or 2x) strengths relative to the control (Lloyd & McCown’s Woody Plant Medium) in 16 combinations, following a fractional factorial approach. Shoots were cultured on the different experimental media and assessed in 1-month intervals for up to 3 months on the production of lateral buds and overall health of the plant. Preliminary data currently suggests that NH4NO3 and Fe are the two nutrient ions that are most influential on shoot development, and can be manipulated to achieve the most desirable growth. In particular, Fe seems to play a key role in the number of lateral buds each shoot produces, which is critical to the rapid multiplication of material. Investigating how plants are influenced by the availability of certain nutrients allows us to not only understand which of these nutrients most significantly regulate shoot development in vitro, but also to identify which combination offers the most desirable rate of growth. Maximizing our ability to micropropagate this species is crucial to ensuring adequate conservation not only of Q. hinckleyi, but potentially for other species of oaks as well.

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1 - University Of Cincinnati, Dept Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, United States
2 - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45220, USA
3 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, United States

ex situ
Tissue Culture

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB03, Conservation Biology 3
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 3:45 PM(EDT)
Number: CB03004
Abstract ID:802
Candidate for Awards:None

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