Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Oliver Gailing

Committee Member 1

David Flaspohler

Committee Member 2

Hairong Wei

Abstract

Quercus is important ecologically and economically because it provides food and habitat for wildlife, wood and paper products for humans. Oaks are endangered due to various factors like shifting climates, habitat loss, drought, pathogens and genetic swamping. Quercus georgiana (M.A. Curtis) is an endangered and restricted oak species which is remaining only in the southeastern part of the US. Efforts are required to conserve this endangered species from extinction. Conservation of this species can be done through these methods: ex-situ conservation (arboretum and botanical garden) and in-situ conservation strategies which protect the species in its natural habitat. For this conservation strategy, it is important to ensure that sample collections capture as much of the gene pool as possible so that the biodiversity is maintained. A variety of molecular markers are available for Quercus. These markers which are highly polymorphic, co-dominant and multiallelic loci will be useful in the study of population genetics of Q. georgiana. Genetic variations in both, among and within the populations, have to be considered if sampling and conservation strategies are developed for this rare and endangered species. These analyses are important in the future for sample collection trips so that the conservation goal is obtained.

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