Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Genetics

Advisor

Liang, Haiying

Committee Member

Morris, James

Committee Member

Gasic, Ksenija

Committee Member

Feltus, Alex

Abstract

Liriodendron tulipifera L., commonly known as yellow-poplar, is a fast-growing hardwood tree species with great ecological and economic value and is native to eastern North America. Liriodendron occupies an important phylogenetic position as a basal angiosperm and has been used in studies of the evolution of flowering plants. Genomic resources, such as Expressed Sequence Taq (EST) databases and Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) libraries, have been developed for this species. However, no genetic map is available for Liriodendron, and very few molecular markers have been developed. In this study, a total of 119 informative genomic SSR markers suitable were identified for genetic linkage map construction with an F1 progeny from #UT108A × #UT23 cross, that have been developed. The full-sibship of 213 seedlings were validated. These informative SSR markers and full-sib seedlings are essential in construction of linkage maps. Linkage map will enable molecular breeding and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, and provide framework for sequencing the Liriodendron genome. In addition we characterized 20 EST-SSR markers with 174 trees from two yellow-poplar seed orchards (residing in Knoxville, Tennesse, and Clemson, South Carolina, respectively), and the US National Arboretum, and provided a first look at the genetic diversity and allele richness among selections of this unique native species. Analysis revealed only one locus significantly deviating from Hardy-Weinberg proportions in the Clemson population, and 10 loci in Knoxville population (p>0.05). In addition, the Clemson orchard exhibited higher values of observed and effective number of alleles, observed heterozygosity, and Nei's expected heterozygosity than the Knoxville orchard, revealing larger genetic diversity in the Clemson seed orchard.

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