Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
Eric von Wettberg
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
M. Patrick Griffith
Third Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Name
RAD, population genetics, Cactaceae, conservation
Date of Defense
Rare plant conservation efforts must utilize current genetic methods to ensure the evolutionary potential of populations is preserved. One such effort involves the Key Tree Cactus, Pilosocereus robinii, which is an endangered columnar cactus native to the Florida Keys. The populations have precipitously declined over the past decade because of habitat loss and increasing soil salinity from rising sea levels and storm surge. Next-generation DNA sequencing was used to assess the genetic structure of the populations. Twenty individuals representative of both wild and extirpated cacti were chosen for Restriction Site Associated DNA (RAD) analysis. Samples processed using the HindIII and NotIII restriction enzymes produced 82,382,440 high quality reads used for genetic mapping, from which 5,265 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) were discovered. The analysis revealed that the Keys’ populations are closely related with little population differentiation. In addition, the populations display evidence of inbreeding and low genetic diversity.
Fotinos, Tonya D., "Genetic Structure of the Florida Key Tree Cactus, Pilosocereus robinii, using Restriction Site associated DNA (RAD) markers" (2013). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 914.
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