Abstract

Whole genome duplication, or polyploidy, is a common process in plants by which failures in meiosis or fertilization result in offspring with twice the number of chromosomes. This doubles the number of copies of every gene, an effect thought to generate new ‘raw material' upon which natural selection can act. Few studies exist examining the consequences of polyploidy for plant physiological traits. Doubling the number of gene copies may have unknown effects on leaf structure and function. In this study, I compare diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid species within the genus Helianthus (wild sunflowers). Forty different accessions of wild sunflowers were grown under standardized greenhouse conditions and phenotyped for both leaf functional traits and leaf hyperspectral reflectance. Interestingly, I find that whole genome duplication can have effects on leaf functional traits relevant to both size and ecophysiology, and thus that polyploidy may lead to functional trait differentiation between polyploids and their diploid progenitors.

Thesis Completion

2020

Semester

Fall

Thesis Chair

Mason, Chase

Co-Chair

Goolsby, Eric

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Biology

Language

English

Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date

12-1-2021

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