Hoary Cress Research
Hoary cress (Lepidium draba) is a perennial herbaceous weed that has invaded agricultural and natural areas of western North America. Invasions are often composed of dense patches, and it is unclear whether clonal growth via horizontal roots or seedling recruitment is the dominant method of patch expansion. To study the clonal structure of this invasive, we will analyze patches from U.S. populations using AFLPs (a DNA fingerprinting method). Known siblings and clones will also be included to insure sufficient variation for discrimination between clonal and non-clonal plant parts. Knowledge of its primary reproductive mode under field conditions will give us a better understanding of how the species became a successful invader, which may help determine management decisions.
Contributing Scientist: John Gaskin(Botanist)