Population Genetics of an Adaptive Radiation
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REP funds were used in an investigation of an adaptive radiation in the North American butterfly genus Lycaeides. Specifically, patterns of population genetic variation were surveyed by amplification and sequencing of single copy nuclear genes, mitochondrial genes, and by the development of a new genetic marker system: Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism markers (AFLPs). This work has taken the investigation of the radiation of these butterflies in new directions. We have uncovered unexpected patterns of variation and developed a novel approach to testing hypotheses on the contributions of multiple reproductive isolation mechanisms. REP money was used to support one undergraduate honors thesis project, another undergraduate project, and four graduate student projects in addition to the PI’s own research. These funds also supported one undergraduate research assistant during the summer, 2004. These projects formed the foundation for a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to Zachariah Gompert and an NSF Proposal to the Population Biology Panel. What follows is a brief summary of the results, extensions and accomplishments of this project.