(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Population genetics of the red alga Mastocarpus papillatus on the California coast
Student Author(s): Ludington, Will
Faculty Advisor(s): Powers, Dennis
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1999
Abstract: The intertidal red alga Mastocarpus papillatus was sampled for genetic diversity in three populations from central and southern California. M. papillatus can exhibit an asexual apomictic life history, with female gametes giving rise to female gametophytes. A higher proportion of this asexual reproduction occurs in populations in central California and further north (Zupan and West, 1988). It is therefore hypothesized that the geographic variation in life history should affect the population structure of M. papillatus. DNA was extracted from haploid female gametophytes and then fingerprinted using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique (Vos et al., 1995). A bootstrapped consensus tree was constructed using parsimony. Localities were shown to have distinct population fingerprints. Greater population structure was found in the northern, more asexually reproducing populations, but this was most likely due to sampling methods. No definite link was found between the life history and population genetics.