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2020 Update: Anna M.’s Hybrid Compatibility Experiment

Echinacea pallida is a non-native species to the prairie of western Minnesota and E. pallida has the potential to out compete the native E. angustifolia. To learn more about this in 2020, we cross-pollinated E. angustifolia, E. pallida, and a E. angustifolia X E. pallida hybrid plant to assess interspecies compatibility. This experiment investigates the reproductive potential of E. angustifolia and E. pallida hybrids, of which may threaten native E. angustifolia preservation.

Since this was the first year that a hybrid plant flowered it was a great opportunity to investigate this question. On July 6th, 2020, seventy-six total hand crosses were completed to test mating compatibility. Three E. angustifolia and three E. pallida plants from Hegg Lake WMA were selected to serve as maternal plants in the experiment. Each treatment consisted of three crosses with pollen from the plant’s respective species, three crosses with the hybrid pollen, and three crosses with no pollen as a control. E. angustifolia and E. pallida pollen was collected from no less than three plants to reduce risk of self-pollination. Finally, pollen collected from each maternal plant was administered to the hybrid. The hybrid received nine crosses with three different E. angustifolia plants, nine crosses with three different E. Pallida plants, and three styles received no pollen as a control. The order of pollen administration was randomized across a designated row of styles.

Pollinator exclusion bags were used to limit exposure to pollinators. We later collected the heads from the hybrid, maternal E. angustifolia, and maternal E. pallida plants. In the winter, these heads will be x-rayed to assess seed set.

Start year: 2020

Location: Hegg Lake WMA, Douglas County, MN

Overlaps with:Echinacea hybrids–p7

Data/materials collected: The team collected 10 heads which will be randomized and x-rayed at the CBG.

The data sheet for the hybrid experiment is located at   ~Dropbox/teamEchinacea2020/annaMeehan/AnnaMeehanDataSheet063020

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