Aquilegia Project


The evolution of life on earth has been punctuated by numerous examples of adaptive radiation. These dramatic events quickly create a large amount of biodiversity and are evidenced by rapid speciation along with morphological and physiological adaptations to numerous ecological niches. Species in the flowering plant genus Aquilegia have undergone a very recent adaptive radiation and present a unique opportunity to investigate the molecular genetic changes underlying adaptations.

Species in this genus have spectacularly different floral morphologies with specializations to different pollinators. In addition, species differ radically in their habitats ranging from coastal forests to desert springs to the high alpine. Because any two species in the genus can be successfully crossed it is possible to dissect the genetic basis for essentially any trait in any species. By developing an array of molecular genetic resources for this genus, this project will provide the infrastructure for a host of studies by a broad community of scientists. All of these studies will be facilitated by the fact that the genome of Aquilegia is among the smallest for a flowering plant at about 350 Mbp. The specific goals of this project are to evaluate the genetic basis of three important traits, morphological adaptation to a specific pollinator, physiological adaptation for flowering time and adaptation to different soil/habitats.

CUGI's role
CUGI has partnered with other research institutions to help provide a robust set of genetic resources for the aquilegia community. This project consists of the physical map construction of Aquilegia formosa and BAC-end sequencing in the form of STCs. This Information is made freely available to researchers for basic and applied studies in aquilegia molecular genetics via our web site. Two BAC libraries of A. formosa, digested with HindIII and MboI respectively have been provided to CUGI for use in physical mapping and BAC end-sequencing.

This project is supported by NSF-BE grant No. 0412727.

CUGI Aquilegia physical map - GBrowse viewer
CUGI Aquilegia physical map - webFPC viewer
Purchase Aquilegia libraries, clones and filters: CUGI Ordering System