Abstract Detail



Ecology

Etterson, Julie [1], Franks, Steven [2], Mazer, Susan [3], Schneider, Heather [4], Shaw, Ruth [5], Soper Gorden, Nicole [6], Weber, Jenn [7], Weis, Arthur [8].

Project Baseline: A genetic time capsule for studying plant evolutionary responses to global change.

Despite abundant evidence of biotic responses to environmental change, we still lack a fundamental understanding of the nature of these changes, including when they involve evolution versus plasticity, the genetic basis of evolutionary changes, and how responses vary across the geographic ranges of species. Project Baseline is a nationwide, collaborative effort to facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies of wild plant populations using the resurrection method. The resurrection method experimentally compares resurrected ancestors and contemporary individuals from the same population, and is a powerful tool for research. Historically, implementing resurrection studies has been difficult or impossible for most plant species because access to living ancestral material is lacking; sampling is not intentional and, therefore, limited; and/or seed viability is compromised due to sub-standard storage methods. The Project Baseline seed bank was established to overcome those limitations and currently houses more than 10 million seeds from 65 common plant species, sampled intentionally by maternal line across multiple geographically-dispersed populations. The seeds are stored using best practices at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado, with associated ecological data, photos, and herbarium voucher information accessible via the Project Baseline website. It has been five years since the first seeds were collected, cleaned, and accessioned, and it is time to release the ancestral seeds to researchers. We anticipate that researchers will use Project Baseline seeds to ask a wide variety of questions, including those of both ecological and evolutionary import. For example, seeds could be used to study the impact of longer or shorter growing seasons on flowering time; the relationship between evolutionary responses and genetic correlations; differences in adaptation rates between selfers and outcrossers; extinction rates in relation to climate change; and more. Early studies using Project Baseline samples have already demonstrated genetically-based shifts in phenology due to climate change and climate-associated variation in plant defense characteristics. The Project Baseline Advisory Board (PBAB) is developing protocols for requesting access to the collection, as well as designing best practices for using and replenishing the collection. Researchers who are seeking outside funding for research using Project Baseline seeds will have the opportunity to request pre-approval and letters of support from the PBAB to bolster their proposals. Seeds will be available for withdrawal beginning in late 2020 and extending through at least 2065. Find more information about this important NSF-funded resource at www.baselineseedbank.org.


Related Links:
Project Baseline website


1 - University Of Minnesota Duluth, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1110 Kirby Drive, 6770 Haugen Lane, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN, 55803, United States
2 - INVASIVE PLANT RESEARCH LAB, 441 E. Fordham Road, 160 Larkin Hall, Bronx, NY, 10458, United States
3 - University Of California, Santa Barbara, Department Of Ecology & Marine Biology, 4119 Life Sciences Building, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, United States
4 - Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1200 Mission Canyon Rd., 1200 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara, CA, 93105, United States
5 - University Of Minnesota, Department Of Ecology, Evolution And Behavior, 1479 Gortner Ave, 140 Gortner, St. Paul, MN, 55108, United States
6 - Mars Hill University, Biology, 100 Athletic St, Campus Box 6671, Mars Hill, NC, 28754, United States
7 - Southeast MO State U, Biology, 1 University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO, 63701, United States
8 - University of Toronto, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B2, Canada

Keywords:
resurrection method
Ecology
Seeds
evolution
seed bank
genetics.

Presentation Type: Poster Time and date to be determined
Number: PEC020
Abstract ID:111
Candidate for Awards:None


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