Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Western aspen trees commonly carry extra set of chromosomes

Date:
October 31, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A large proportion of aspen in the western US sport an extra set of chromosomes in their cells, a phenomenon termed triploidy, according to new research. In some areas of southern Utah and Colorado, over 60 percent of aspen trees are triploid.

This image shows aspen trees in Utah.
Credit: Michael Kuhns

A large proportion of aspen in the western U.S. sport an extra set of chromosomes in their cells, a phenomenon termed triploidy, according to new research published Oct. 31 in the open access journal PLoS ONE by Karen Mock from Utah State University and colleagues at several other institutions. In some areas of southern Utah and Colorado, over 60% of aspen trees are triploid.

Though triploid trees are not uncommon, this genetic anomaly can cause altered physical traits including sterility or reduced fertility. Although a triploid aspen clone may reproduce with root suckers, the scientists say, it is unlikely to produce viable seed.

Mapping the rates of triploidy in aspen to latitude, glacial history and regional variation in climate, the researchers found that these rates were highest in unglaciated, drought-prone regions. Wolf, professor in USU's Department of Biology, notes triploid plants often have larger cells, which might affect how plants cope with different conditions. "It is possible triploid aspen can better absorb water than diploids and are therefore better suited to withstand dry conditions, but they may be especially vulnerable to severe drought," he says.

Iconic fall foliage of the north-western forests, aspen populations have been declining in recent years; their high mortality rates have been attributed to drought, insect pests and a mysterious syndrome termed "Sudden Aspen Decline" (SAD). The new research is based on data collected over more than eight years by the Forest Service, a NASA Biodiversity program, and several researchers and volunteers.

Lead author on the study Mock says, "Though our findings come from many years of study, they provide an important starting point as we go forward. What we're learning will help us understand both the past and the future of aspen in the West."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karen E. Mock, Colin M. Callahan, M. Nurul Islam-Faridi, John D. Shaw, Hardeep S. Rai, Stewart C. Sanderson, Carol A. Rowe, Ronald J. Ryel, Michael D. Madritch, Richard S. Gardner, Paul G. Wolf. Widespread Triploidy in Western North American Aspen (Populus tremuloides). PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e48406 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048406

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Western aspen trees commonly carry extra set of chromosomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031214142.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, October 31). Western aspen trees commonly carry extra set of chromosomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031214142.htm
Public Library of Science. "Western aspen trees commonly carry extra set of chromosomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031214142.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins