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Genetic sequencing reveals a complicated evolutionary history between endangered Verity’s liveforever (Dudleya verityi, Crassulaceae family) and a widespread congener, lanceleaf liveforever (D. lanceolata)

Project Dates

2018 - 2021

Summary

Genomic analyses can provide critical information to guide the conservation of endangered species. In this study, a large genetic dataset was used to assess the potential interactions between the rare Verity’s liveforever (Dudleya verityi, Crassulaceae family) and a more widespread species, lanceleaf liveforever (D. lanceolata). Considerable genetic differentiation was demonstrated among the sampled populations of Verity’s liveforever, which were attributed to limited gene flow between the isolated outcrops of Conejo volcanic rock on which it occurs in the Santa Monica Mountains. Broader analyses of Verity’s liveforever and lanceleaf liveforever supported the genetic distinctiveness of Verity’s liveforever but revealed a complicated evolutionary history in lanceleaf liveforever. A set of analyses focusing on one sampling location, Malibu Ridge, showed that morphological and ecological intermediates between Verity’s liveforever and lanceleaf liveforever were likely the result of hybridization. Additional analyses suggest a close relationship between Verity’s liveforever and Santa Monica Mountains lanceleaf liveforever. Collectively these analyses drive scientific understanding of Verity’s liveforever forward, answering some questions and revealing others.

Goals

To understand the genetic differentiation and relationship between the endangered Verity’s liveforever and the more common lanceleaf liveforever

Report: Dudleya verityi Genetics Report 2021

Team Members

Matt Guilliams, Ph.D.

Kristen Lehman, Ph.D.

Partners

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Funders

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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