Interspecific hybridization refers to the crossing of different species, and sometimes occurs naturally in the wild. Individuals in hybrid zones show extraordinary phenotypic variation which allows biologists to evaluate the functional significance of trait differences between species and determine their genetic basis. BHSU students are investigating the variation in floral traits across a hybrid zone between two thistle spcecies (Prairie Thistle, Cirsium canescens and Wavy Leaf Thistle, Cirsium undulatum).
(Poster) Reproductive Biology and Trait Segregation in a Thistle Hybrid Zone
Cathryn Hester, Tyler Bortz, Dr. Tara Ramsey and Dr. Justin Ramsey