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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Rubin, Matthew [1], Herron, Sterling [2], Ciotir, Claudia [3], Bergh, Emma [3], Martinez, Dahlia [3], Sandoval, Marissa [3], Selby, Samantha [4], Sherrod, Summer [3], Miller, Allison [5].

Herbaria as a resource for surveying agricultural potential of perennial herbaceous plants.

Current grain agriculture utilizes primarily annual plant species, but recently there has been growing interest in developing perennial grain systems that offer greater ecosystem services relative to their annual counterparts. One of the initial hurdles to selecting perennial herbaceous species of interest to agriculture is quantifying the degree of variation within and among species and to what extent annual and perennial species differ. Herbaria can serve as a critical first resource for surveying phenotypic variation and covariation that is informative for breeding. Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 herbaria, housing over 350 million specimens. Moreover, herbarium specimens are an excellent resource for undergraduate research projects, particularly when the duration of the research experience is relatively short (for example, Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) summer programs, typically lasting ten weeks). Using already existing specimens, undergraduates researchers are able to participate in an all aspects of the research from developing research questions, choosing genera or species of interest, collecting and analyzing data and presenting their findings. Over several years, five undergraduate researchers (including four REU students) contributed valuable data to a larger dataset examining differences in vegetative and reproductive structures between annual and perennial species that hold agricultural promise. Collectively, data was collected on 520 specimens from five genera of the Fabaceae (legume) family, including 24 species of Astragalus, Lupinus, Phaseolus, Strophostyles, and Vigna. For all specimens, we measured several vegetative traits, including leaflet length and width and stem width, as well as reproductive traits that included pod length and width. We will use this data to assess differences between annual and perennial species, and identify variation that would be useful to breeders in future development of perennial crops.

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1 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 North Warson Road, Miller Lab, St. Louis, MO, 63132, United States
2 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Miller Lab, 975 N Warson Road, St. Louis, MO., 63132, USA
3 - Missouri Botanical Garden , 4500 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
4 - St. Louis University, Biology, 3507 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
5 - Saint Louis University/Danforth Plant Science Center, Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, Macelwane Hall, St. Louis, MO , 63110, USA

annual perennial
Research experiences
perennial agriculture.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: EO2, Education and Outreach II
Location: Tucson D/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: EO2001
Abstract ID:848
Candidate for Awards:None

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