Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Kari Segraves

Honors Reader

Not Listed

Capstone Major

Biology

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

yes

Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Abstract

Polyploidy is an important evolutionary mechanism of speciation in plants. Because polyploids may evolve cryptically, there can be several levels of ploidy in a species. The distribution of polyploid species is the first step in understanding the role of polyploidy in plant speciation. I examined the geographic distribution of polyploidy in Heuchera cylindrica (Saxifragaceae) by using flow cytometry to determine the ploidy level of 595 individuals from 39 populations spread across the geographic range of the species. Only single cytotype populations of diploids or tetraploids were found, and no triploids were observed. In contrast to other studies of polyploid distribution, diploids and tetraploids of H. cylindrica were allopatric. I conclude that the allopatric distribution of cytotypes may be a result of the historical biogeography of the area.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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