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2017 update: Heritability of fitness–qGen1

The team measuring plants in big batch

Team Echinacea measuring plants in big batch

In 2017 we assessed survival and fitness measures of the qGen1 plants. 1,991 plants in qGen1 were alive in 2017. Of those, 3% flowered in 2017 and 46% have yet to flower ever. All were planted in 2003.

The qGen1 (quantitative genetics) experiment is designed to quantify the heritability of traits in Echinacea angustifolia. We are especially interested in Darwinian fitness. Could fitness be heritable? During the summer of 2002 we crossed plants from the 1996 & 1997 cohorts of exPt1. We harvested heads, dissected achenes, and germinated seeds over the winter. In the Spring of 2003 we planted the resulting 4468 seedlings (this great number gave rise to this experiment’s nickname “big batch”).

Start year: 2003

Location: Experimental plot 1

Overlaps with: qGen2 & qGen3

Physical specimens: We harvested 46 heads from qGen1 in 2017. These heads will be processed in the lab to determine achene counts and seed set.

Data collected: We collected fitness measures using handheld computers.

Products: We have an awesome dataset that we will share once the paper is published. Ruth Shaw is working on an analysis of the qGen1 dataset.

You can find more information about Heritability of fitness–qGen1 and links to previous flog posts regarding this experiment at the background page for the experiment.

2016 update: Heritability of fitness–qGen1

The team measuring plants in big batch

Team Echinacea measuring plants in big batch

The qGen1 (quantitative genetics) experiment is designed to quantify the heritability of traits in Echinacea angustifolia. We are especially interested in Darwinian fitness. Could fitness be heritable? During the summer of 2002 we crossed plants from the 1996 & 1997 cohorts of exPt1. We harvested heads, dissected achenes, and germinated seeds over the winter. In the Spring of 2003 we planted the resulting 4468 seedlings (this great number gave rise to this experiment’s nickname “big batch”). In 2016 we assessed survival and fitness measures of the qGen1 plants. 2,187 plants in qGen1 were alive in 2016. Of those, 5% flowered in 2016 and 49% have yet to flower.

Start year: 2003

Location: Experimental plot 1

Overlaps with: qGen2 & qGen3

Physical specimens: We harvested 116 heads from qGen1 in 2016. These heads will be processed in the lab to determine achene count and seed set.

Data collected: We collected fitness measures using handheld computers.

Products: We have an awesome dataset that we will share once the paper is published. Ruth Shaw is working on an analysis of the qGen1 dataset.

You can find more information about Heritability of fitness–qGen1 and links to previous flog posts regarding this experiment at the background page for the experiment.

Project status update: Heritability of fitness–qGen1

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2015 measuring qGen1: finding EA in a sea of flowering big bluestem!

The qGen1 (quantitative genetics) experiment investigates the heritability of traits in Echinacea angustifolia. During the summer of 2002 we crossed plants from the 1996 & 1997 cohorts of exPt1. We harvested heads, dissected achenes, and germinated seeds over the winter. In the Spring of 2003 we planted the resulting 4468 seedlings (this great number gave rise to this experiment’s nickname “big batch”). In 2015 we assessed survival and fitness measures of the qGen1 plants. Here’s a summary of what we found:

living flowering headCount
2319 409 793

Read more about the qGen1 experiment.

Start year: 2003

Location: exPt1

 

Project status update: Phenology and fitness in experimental plot 1

imageHardAtWork.jpg

Experimental plot 1 (P1) encompasses 11 different experiments originally planted with a total of 10673 Echinacea individuals. These experiments include long-term studies designed to compare the fitness of Echinacea from different remnant populations (“EA from remnants in P1”), examine the effects of inbreeding on plant fitness (“INB” and “INB2”), and explore other genetic properties of Echinacea such as trait heritability (“qGen”). In 2014, Team Echinacea measured plant traits for the 5409 Echinacea plants that remain alive and followed the daily phenology of 567 flowering heads. Echinacea began producing florets on July 1 and continued flowering in P1 until August 24. The data collected in 2014 will allow us to estimate the heritability of various traits and assess the lifetime fitness of plants from the numerous experiments.

Experiment Year planted # alive # flowering # planted
1 1996 1996 314 115 650
2 1997 1997 270 57 600
3 1998 1998 32 3 375
4 1999 1999 542 106 888
5 1999S 1999 297 37 418
6 SPP 2001 318 14 797
7 Inbreeding 2001 221 15 557
8 2001 2001 170 11 350
9 Monica 2003 2003 28 3 100
10 qGen 2003 2501 122 4468
11 INB2 2006 716 41 1470

Start year: 1996

Location: experimental plot 1

Products:

Overlaps with: aphid addition exclusion, Pamela’s functional traits, pollen longevity, pollen addition exclusion