Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) is one of the dominant perennial bunch grasses of the Pacific Northwest. It has declined in abundance over the past 100 years, and thus is of interest to a broad range of restoration projects. In order to determine the extent of vegetative reproduction in Idaho fescue, we conducted DNA fingerprinting with inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. We sampled 154 plants from two 5 sq. ft. plots at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, near Burns, Oregon. The size and position of each plant was mapped. Eighteen polymorphic ISSR markers revealed 27 shared genotypes and 67 unique individuals. The presence of ca. 22 discrete clones was inferred from the spatial distribution of shared genotypes. Clones represent the product of vegetative reproduction. The unique and disjunct genotypes are apparently the result of seed reproduction. All plants in these plots were previously mapped in 1937, therefore we could calculate rates of clonal growth (1.5-2.5 cm per decade). Many clones could be recognized on the basis of morphological criteria, but others were not suspected. Likewise, some apparent clones were composed of genetically distinct individuals. ISSR markers are a cost-effective method of DNA fingerprinting that can document the mode of reproduction in plant populations.