Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Aubuchon, Taylor [1], Bookout, Bess [2], Minx, Patrick [1], Romay, Cinta [3], Buckler, Edward [4], Hufford, Matthew [5], Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey [6], Kellogg, Elizabeth A. [1].

Using a large-scale Andropogoneae genomics project to inform conservation efforts.

The Andropogoneae are a group of grasses with over 1,000 species spanning 15 million square kilometers across the globe, primarily in tropical regions. Species within this group include maize and sorghum as well as many ecological dominants and are known for their tolerance to environmental stressors, notably heat and drought, making them some of the most productive plants in the world for biofuels and food. In addition, the tribe includes many species with narrow distributions that may be specialists for particular ecological conditions.  In a project to understand the mechanisms underlying the Andropogoneae’s adaptations to abiotic stress, we have collected wild species across their native geographic range, sampling temperature and precipitation gradients, and are in the process of generating whole genome sequences of diverse germplasm. To accomplish field collections at this scale, we source material from the wild, from silica-dried tissue, and from herbaria; all of which involve acquiring extensive geospatial data, cleaning taxonomic information, collaborating with land managers, and travel. When the global pandemic blocked additional collecting and lab work, we explored additional purposes for the Andropogoneae distribution dataset. With detailed locality information, morphological and taxonomic expertise, we are working to apply our cumulative knowledge of Andropogoneae to global and regional biodiversity conservation goals and to identify potentially threatened species within this important group of grasses. Here we use both manual (GeoCAT) and automated (ConR, RBIEN) tools commonly used in conservation assessments that adhere to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List assessment criteria, using the data available from major botanical databases Tropicos, GBIF, and BIEN. Because of the Andropogoneae’s long species list, complicated taxonomy, and wide distributions, benefits and limitations of the various tools allowed us to test the potential for increasing throughput in preliminary conservation analyses. We found larger botanical databases with automated taxonomic cleaning (RBIEN) provided the most inclusive species ranges; and while the manual online tool GeoCAT was user-friendly, accurate, and efficient, automated ConR allowed for batch processing. With the current state of global biodiversity loss and the push for increased conservation assessments, we highlight the need for improved throughput for assessing potentially threatened species.

Related Links:
Pan-Andropogoneae website

1 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 N. Warson Rd., St. Louis, MO, 63132, United States
2 - Kansas State University, Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA
3 - Cornell University, Institute for Genomic Diversity, 175 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA
4 - Cornell University, USDA-ARS, 175 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA
5 - Iowa State University, Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal Biology, 339A Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
6 - University of California, Davis, Department of Evolution and Ecology, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA, 95616, USA

global database
living collection.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PCB004
Abstract ID:566
Candidate for Awards:None

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