COCHLEARIA: Development of a new model system in polyploid plant evolution (completed)
Development of a new model system in polyploid plant evolution: Scurvygrass (Cochlearia)
About the project
In this project, we will explore the possibility for developing a new evolutionary and genetic model for addressing questions related to polyploid evolution and epigenetic mechanisms in natural populations using taxa within the genus Cochlearia. From cytological, morphological and ecological studies undertaken by Prof. Inger Nordal and colleagues during the 1980-90s, we have a pretty good idea of the biology of the European species, which previously have been grouped within C. officinalis s.lat. They represent various ploidal levels from diploid to decaploid, they represent distinct ecotypes both within and between ploidal levels which are characterized by morphological differences, they differ in generation time (annual vs. perennial) and in reproductive mode (self-compatible vs. self-incompatible). The vicariant species are distributed (with some overlap) from South Europe to the Arctic and represent thus a range in adaptation to various latitudes, which are relevant in the context of climate change and consequences thereof. This should give us an excellent starting point for developing and planning experiments which can be used to answer specific questions.
This project funded by the Nansen Foundation.
Start: 01.04.2012. End: 31.10.2013.