Population genetics and inbreeding in the San Fernando Valley Spineflower

Photo of the San Fernando Valley spineflower, USFWS

For more information contact Andrea Schreier: amdrauch@ucdavis.edu

Background and Significance of Study

The San Fernando Valley Spineflower (SFVS; Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina (S. Watson)) is a state endangered species currently restricted to two areas in southern California that, combined, are no more than 45 acres. In partnership with the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), we are using RAD sequencing to genotype individuals from both locations, measure genetic diversity, and examine patterns of population structure. Our findings will be incorporated into conservation planning for this unique species and potentially inform a federal listing decision.

We are also working with CNLM to determine whether inbreeding is impacting the SFVS, a species so rare it was once thought to be extinct. The CNLM is working with a botanical gardens to conduct controlled crosses between plants from the same locations and those from different locations. We are using RAD sequencing to genotype both parents and offspring to confirm parentage of crosses and measure individual inbreeding coefficients. CNLM will measure phenotypic characteristics of plants from each cross type (selfed, within region outcross, between region outcross) to look for physical evidence of inbreeding depression.


Deborah Rogers, Center for Natural Lands Management

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens