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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Mardonovich, Sandra [1], Tepe, Eric [2], Moore, Richard [3].

Morphological diversity of natural Carica papaya populations in Panama.

The native biodiversity of a species can be affected by cultivated varieties that have escaped into the wild. These escapees can pose a threat to the natural genetic and morphological diversity of the species through gene flow and genetic introgression of cultivated traits into natural varieties. Carica papaya L., commonly know as papaya, has been hypothesized to originate from Mesoamerica, where it is both cultivated and found in disturbed natural areas where it acts as a pioneer species. Thus, papaya may serve as a model to study the effects of gene flow among cultivars and natural populations. Previous observations made on the morphology of naturally occurring papaya suggest that papaya found near the purported center of domestication in northern Mesoamerica have fruit that are characteristically small, similar in size to a golf ball. In contrast, fruit found further south resemble the larger-fruited cultivated papaya. Small fruited papaya, though, have been reported as far south as Costa Rica, questioning this prediction. Our recent sampling of morphological diversity of natural papaya in Panama further questions the hypothesis that natural papaya populations sampled further south exhibit traits more commonly found in domestic papaya varieties. We characterized both qualitative morphological traits (fruit shape, fruit color, etc.) and quantitative morphological traits (fruit diameter, length of mature petiole, etc.) of papaya sampled in the southernmost extent of papaya’s distribution in Central America. We found that populations varied significantly in some traits, such as leaf petiole color and leaf shape. Furthermore, fruits were almost universally small and seedy, similar to the smaller fruited papaya found in neighboring Costa Rica. In the future, we plan to assess the patterns and levels of genetic diversity among Panamanian papaya populations and identify any shared genetic ancestry with cultivars. This data will serve as a foundation for future research into understanding the domestication history of this important tropical fruit crop.

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1 - Miami University, Department of Botany, 316 E.High St, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA
2 - University of Cincinnati, Department of Botany, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, USA
3 - Miami University, Department of Botany, 316 Pearson Hall, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA

conservation of biodiversity
pioneer species
crop evolution.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT030
Abstract ID:1325
Candidate for Awards:None

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