Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

12-2007

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Foster Levy

Committee Members

Dhirena Kumar, Timothy D. McDowell

Abstract

Phacelia purshii Buckley and P. fimbriata Micheaux are two species that are nearly morphologically indistinguishable. Seed germination experiments showed that the high elevation endemic, P. fimbriata requires lower temperatures to trigger germination. Following interspecific crosses, pollen tubes enter ovules and maternal tissue of the gynoecium matures but hybrid diploid and triploid organs fail to develop. DNA sequences from the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed region showed that P. fimbriata and P. purshii comprise a monophyletic clade but that P. fimbriata is more differentiated from related species. In contrast, P. purshii supported significantly higher levels of intraspecific polymorphism. Phacelia fimbriata and P. purshii are sister species with similar morphology but they are unable to hybridize, they are differentiated in physiological characteristics related to environment, and they inhabit different elevations. This pattern of relationship and differentiation suggests P. fimbriata may be the product of ecological speciation.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Botany Commons

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