Presentation Title

Truth or Lie? The Sexual Advertising of Sagebrush Buttercups, Ranunculus glabberimus ssp. ellipticus

Presenter Information

Dominic Torheiden

Location

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

Start Date

18-3-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

18-3-2016 6:00 PM

Abstract

This poster will present the preliminary results of a research project examining whether a subspecies of the sagebrush buttercup, Ranunculus glabberimus ssp. ellipticus, exhibits both morphological and functional androdioecy. Androdioecy - a plant breeding system in which some individuals bear only male flowers while other individuals bear hermaphroditic flowers - is predicted by both theoretical and empirical studies to be very rare. Previous work has documented that in the Lac Du Bois Grasslands this sagebrush buttercup subspecies is morphologically androdieocious; however, many species once believed to be androdioecious have since been found to be cryptically dioecious, with flowers that looked to be hermaphroditic producing pollen that attracts pollinators but is infertile. To determine if local populations of this sagebrush buttercup subspecies are, in fact, an example of androdioecy, this poster will report findings from bagging and pollination experiments, as well as pollen staining and microscopy trials completed to confirm the viability of hermaphroditic flower pollen. In addition, results of population level sampling done to confirm the frequency of morphological males in Lac Du Bois populations will be presented. The results of this research will either confirm this subspecies use of a rare breeding system that can be used for further research, or substantiate cross-dressing as a plant reproductive strategy.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Lyn Baldwin

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Mar 18th, 12:00 PM Mar 18th, 6:00 PM

Truth or Lie? The Sexual Advertising of Sagebrush Buttercups, Ranunculus glabberimus ssp. ellipticus

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

This poster will present the preliminary results of a research project examining whether a subspecies of the sagebrush buttercup, Ranunculus glabberimus ssp. ellipticus, exhibits both morphological and functional androdioecy. Androdioecy - a plant breeding system in which some individuals bear only male flowers while other individuals bear hermaphroditic flowers - is predicted by both theoretical and empirical studies to be very rare. Previous work has documented that in the Lac Du Bois Grasslands this sagebrush buttercup subspecies is morphologically androdieocious; however, many species once believed to be androdioecious have since been found to be cryptically dioecious, with flowers that looked to be hermaphroditic producing pollen that attracts pollinators but is infertile. To determine if local populations of this sagebrush buttercup subspecies are, in fact, an example of androdioecy, this poster will report findings from bagging and pollination experiments, as well as pollen staining and microscopy trials completed to confirm the viability of hermaphroditic flower pollen. In addition, results of population level sampling done to confirm the frequency of morphological males in Lac Du Bois populations will be presented. The results of this research will either confirm this subspecies use of a rare breeding system that can be used for further research, or substantiate cross-dressing as a plant reproductive strategy.