Submission Title

Developing Genetic Resources in the Threatened Whitebark Pine

Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Biology

Description

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is an alpine species that is being decimated by white pine blister rust, a fungal pathogen. Outside efforts to screen for rust-resistant individuals are proceeding without input on where genetic diversity exists. We are building a set of genetic tools that will allow us to screen for rangewide genetic diversity to pinpoint populations that have been undersampled in rust-resistant screens. The markers we are developing, termed microsatellites, are short repeating DNA sequences that work much like a fingerprint. The development of microsatellite markers can be used to determine population structure, connectivity, heterozygosity, and parentage. As a genetic tool, these markers could aid in the conservation of the threatened whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). We need a set of 10-15 microsatellites to ensure maximum discriminating power amongst individuals and populations. Putative microsatellite regions were identified by enriching genomic libraries for dinucleotide microsatellites and then sequencing on the Illumina GA2. Potential microsatellite primers were screened across a set of exemplars; gel electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis were used to identify heterozygosity and polymorphism. To date we have screened nearly 200 candidates, and we have identified seven microsatellites, with an additional three loci of interest.

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Developing Genetic Resources in the Threatened Whitebark Pine

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is an alpine species that is being decimated by white pine blister rust, a fungal pathogen. Outside efforts to screen for rust-resistant individuals are proceeding without input on where genetic diversity exists. We are building a set of genetic tools that will allow us to screen for rangewide genetic diversity to pinpoint populations that have been undersampled in rust-resistant screens. The markers we are developing, termed microsatellites, are short repeating DNA sequences that work much like a fingerprint. The development of microsatellite markers can be used to determine population structure, connectivity, heterozygosity, and parentage. As a genetic tool, these markers could aid in the conservation of the threatened whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). We need a set of 10-15 microsatellites to ensure maximum discriminating power amongst individuals and populations. Putative microsatellite regions were identified by enriching genomic libraries for dinucleotide microsatellites and then sequencing on the Illumina GA2. Potential microsatellite primers were screened across a set of exemplars; gel electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis were used to identify heterozygosity and polymorphism. To date we have screened nearly 200 candidates, and we have identified seven microsatellites, with an additional three loci of interest.