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Population Genomics of the Endangered Pitcher Plant Sarracenia alabamensis

Sarracenia alabamensis is an endangered carnivorous pitcher plant native to Alabama, United States, with 4 viable sites out of the remaining 12. The environment of Sarracenia alabamensis requires frequent burning and high levels of maintenance, and the lack thereof, along with the illicit collecting of the plant, has led to its endangerment. The project focuses on using leaf samples to extract DNA that can be used to investigate the genetic diversity across the remaining populations. This study aims to extract sufficient quantities of purified DNA from pitcher plant samples using a modified grape leaf protocol with home brew stock solutions. The goal of DNA extractions is to yield pure DNA (nucleic acids), and remove other macromolecules. Once extracted the DNA will be sent off for sequencing using Restriction-site Associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq). DNA purity is measured and quantified using a nanometer and fluorometer. For Sarracenia alabamensis, it is crucial to collect additional samples from the remaining population and evaluate their genetic diversity. This research will allow for a better understanding of the survival potential of the endangered canebrake pitcher plant and inform managers on ways to protect remaining population. 

Marie Gonzalez '23, Sharon Medina '23  
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