January 9 2019

12:00 LSB 2320

Victoria L. Sork
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Gene flow, natural selection, and response to climate change in a California iconic tree, valley oak


The genus Quercus provides the major keystone species of Northern Hemisphere ecosystems with more biomass and more species than any other tree species including Pinus. My research program uses the valley oak study system to understand evolutionary processes in tree species. Since arrival at UCLA, I have studied both gene flow and natural selection with a focus on the evolution of local adaptation. Using a recently sequenced high-quality genome of Quercus lobata Ne and phenotypic data of five-year old valley oaks grown in two large experimental gardens, I will focus on findings of two complementary studies. The first study will use a genome-wide association analysis of growth rates in valley oak progeny from range-wide samples of adults to examine the genetic basis of population differences with respect to climate of the parental site. The second study will explore the climate association and heritability of DNA-methylation in valley oak progeny grown in the two gardens to see whether epigenetic response could contribute to local adaptation. I will conclude with a discussion of how this research can provide a foundation for understanding whether valley oak will be able to tolerate climate change.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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