Molecular characterization of three giant knotweed species in Wisconsin (genus Reynoutria, Polygonaceae)

Jenna Boeck, Alyssa Olson, Jenni Wendtlandt, Emily Peters, Noah Kofron, Morgan Sabol, and Nicholas Tippery. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, 800 W Main St, Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190

Giant knotweed plants in the genus Reynoutria are native to eastern Asia, but they have become troublesome invasive weeds in other parts of the world. Two species grow in North America: the Japanese Knotweed (R. japonica) and Giant Knotweed (R. sachalinensis), as well as a hybrid known as Bohemian Knotweed (R. × bohemica). The separate species may have different ecological tolerances, competitive strengths, or susceptibilities to herbicides or biocontrol agents, and therefore it is important to identify them correctly. Because of the close relationships among invasive knotweeds and their propensity to hybridize, identification using molecular methods is particularly useful. To date, molecular data on invasive knotweeds are relatively sparse, with hardly any published sequences for nuclear genes. We investigated the DNA sequence diversity of Reynoutria plants in Wisconsin using the chloroplast matK gene and the nuclear LEAFY gene. We hypothesized that each of the invasive knotweed species would have a unique sequence for each gene region, and that the LEAFY gene would be most useful for identifying hybrids. Distinct sequences were able to identify Japanese and Giant Knotweed species, and polymorphic LEAFY sequences were interpreted as evidence of hybridization (i.e., Bohemian Knotweed). In addition, we discovered two kinds of LEAFY gene sequence in each plant, supporting previous evidence that Reynoutria species are polyploid.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Jenna Boeck, Alyssa Olson, Jenni Wendtlandt, Emily Peters, Noah Kofron, Morgan Sabol

Institution: University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 3
Date/Time: Mon 4:30pm-5:30pm
Session Number: 3163