Unraveling the roles of genotype and environment in the expression of plant defense phenotypes

Project Overview
Project Abstract: 
Phenotypic variability is the driver of many ecological and evolutionary processes. However, the phenotype of an organism is a product of both its genes and its environment. To understand an organism’s phenotype, and consequently its interactions with organisms around it, we must understand the independent and interactive effects of both genotype and environment. By leveraging a 10-year data set and employing a three-tier experiment, I will assess the contributions of genotype and environment to the expression of defense within a plant population under decline. Populations are able to adapt to environmental change only if heritable genetic variation exists within the population. Assessing whether genotypic variation is responsible for phenotypic variation will allow a better prediction of the population’s ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Investigator Info
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