Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Biology | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
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.
Larson, Megan A., "THE GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF POLYPLOIDY IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST PLANT" (2009). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 455.
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