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Saving the Endangered South Florida Slash Pines ( Pinus elliottii var. densa ) ---- A study of Genetic Variations of Two Slash Pine Populations. Super Awesome Pines (SAP): Renee Roache, Martin Alexis, Allegra delValle, Melissa Perez, O’Brian Anderson.

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super awesome pines sap renee roache martin alexis allegra delvalle melissa perez o brian anderson

Saving the Endangered South Florida Slash Pines (Pinus elliottii var. densa)---- A study of Genetic Variations of Two Slash Pine Populations

Super Awesome Pines (SAP): Renee Roache, Martin Alexis, Allegra delValle, Melissa Perez, O’Brian Anderson

University of Miami and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Research in Ecology Program, Summer 2008

outline for our talk
Outline for our talk
  • Background on Florida Slash Pine
  • Importance of our study
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
pinus elliottii var densa
Pinus elliottii var. densa
  • Evergreen conifer.
  • Pollen cones are lower on the trees than the seed cones.
pinus elliottii var densa1
Pinus elliottii var. densa

Fire resistant to low intensity fires

  • Native to central and south Florida, including the Florida Keys.
  • It’s the keystone species in the pine rockland community.
back then
Back Then…

1940’s

Today

  • There used to be 65,000 acres of pine rockland habitat in the 1940’s but now there is less than 1% left.
genetic diversity
Genetic diversity
  • Genetic variation is important for populations to adapt to a changing environment
  • Such as hurricane
significant values of south florida slash pine
Significant values of South Florida slash pine

Over 225 types of native plants occur here and more than 20% of the plant species are found here and nowhere else in the world.

how can we distinguish tree dna

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How can we distinguish tree DNA?

Marker

  • We used nuclear microsatellite markers to study genetic variation.
  • Microsatellites are short segments of DNA that have a repeated sequence.

Tree 1

Tree 2

question whether fragmentation has effect on genetic diversity of south florida slash pine
Question:Whether fragmentation has effect on genetic diversity of South Florida Slash pine?
  • Null Hypothesis:

Fragmentation has no effect on genetic diversity of Pinus elliottii var. densa

  • Prediction:

Fragmentation decrease genetic diversity.

slide11

Study Sites

Outside UM campus

Everglades National Park

sample collection
Sample Collection

10 samples per site

polymerase chain reaction pcr
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • PCR is a technique used to amplify a piece of DNA.
  • PCR enables researchers to produce millions of copies of a specific DNA sequence in approximately two hours.
dna gel electrophoresis
DNA Gel Electrophoresis

- Negative

  • DNA electrophoresis is an technique used to separate DNA fragments by weight.
  • An electric field forces the fragments to migrate from negative to positive.

+ Positive

gene scan
Gene Scan
  • Gene Scan analysis is carried out on a LI-COR 4300 DNA analyzer.
genotype results at locus pttx3013 and rptest01
Genotype results at locus PtTX3013 and RPTest01

PtTX3013

S S S

EV

UM

RPTest01

S S S

EV

UM

S: Size Marker, EV: Sample from Everglades, UM: Sample from UM

results
Results

Genetic variation of two slash pine populations at locus

PtTX3013 RPTest01

  • At both PtTX3013 and RPTest01 locus, there are two different alleles in EV, but only one allele in UM.
  • EV and UM share same alleles.
  • EV have heterozygous trees, all trees are homozygous in UM, base on the samples we collected.
discussion
Discussion
  • EV and UM share two alleles implies some connectivity between them.
  • This may be due to historical connection or possibly dispersal by wind, people or animal.
  • Fragmentation increased inbreeding, and decrease heterozygocity.
  • Larger population size is more heterozygotic.
  • Large area population have more genetic variation than fragmented population.
discussion1
Discussion
  • Efforts of preservation for such population should be equally applied to all populations, small (UM population) and large (Everglades population).
  • Local government should all participate in conservation of the remaining population.
  • We cannot afford to sacrifice any populations, even though the population size may be small.
  • Small populations still contain alleles of the original population.
acknowledgement
Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Dr. Gaines for organizing this program, Dr. Krempels for organizing us, Dr. Wang for instructing this research, Mr. Jiang, Ms. Suarez and Mr. Cheso for helping us. We thank our parents and friends, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Miami.