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a Population Genomics Approach to Understanding the Role of Indigenous Foragers in the Distribution and Genetic Diversity of an Australian Wild Bush Tomato (Solanum Diversflorum)

Authors: Heim, Williams, Martine Bucknell University Biology Department One Dent Drive Lewisburg, PA 17837

The Indigenous foragers of Australia's Western Desert have a rich and deep connection to the landscape that is evident through their culturally significant pathways of movement.  In creating this connection, we wonder how these pathways have shaped the distribution, abundance, and dispersal of wild plants, specifically the economically significant bush tomatoes of the genus Solanum (including Solanum diversiflorum, known locally as wamula).  Currently, herbarium and field collected specimens have been sampled from across the range of Solanum diversiflorum. These samples are being used to understand genetic connectivity, as well as the potential impact of Indigenous users on S. diversiflorum’s population structure. DNA has been extracted from each specimen using FastDNA kits and stored for future quality testing.  We expect to find a correlation between the movement of the Indigenous people and the dispersal of the species along pathways of movement, as well as patterns that align with the historical distributions of language groups.  This would imply that the activities of the Indigenous people profoundly shaped the distribution of the species and can give conservationists as well as anthropologists new insights on the relationship between the biogeography of plants in the Western Desert and the people who have lived there for thousands of years.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Jeffrey Heim

Institution: Bucknell University

Type: Poster

Subject: Plant Sciences

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6171