Mentors: Jonathan Colen, Mark Rausher, PhD
Department of Biology
Recent research has shown that introgression between species through hybridization is common. Despite this, some traits are seen to resist gene flow between species in sympatric environments. One organism that this is seen in is the morning glory. When I.lacunosa and I.cordatotriloba are present in the same area, lac populations are seen to stay practically the same while cord populations are seen to change. Furthermore, we commonly see limb color resist introgression but a loss of throat color when these species are in sympatry. This renders I.lac and I.cord good model organisms to study species boundaries and gene flow. This project is asking two questions with these species. One being how often does pink I.cord sire offspring, the other being what is the recombination rate between the limb color and throat color gene. While research is still ongoing, preliminary data has shown that these two genes have a low but noticeable recombination rate.