Genetic Assessment of Management and Restoration Practices of the Federally Threatened Orchid, Platanthera leucophaea (Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid)

Jeremie Fant1, Claire Ellwanger, Laura Steger, and Cathy Pollack

Chicago Botanic Garden, Northwestern University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chicago Field Office,,,

Over the summer of 2015 we completed range-wide genetic sampling of Platanthera leucophaea. Claire Ellwanger and Cathy Pollack collected leaf tissue samples from 18 populations and received leaf samples from 14 populations thanks to collaborators like Jim Reinartz (UWM Field Station) across the range of the species. At the Chicago Botanic Garden, Claire and three undergraduate interns extracted DNA from a total of 698 leaf tissue samples over the summer. During the fall and early winter of 2015 Claire and Laura Steger completed genetic methods testing for the microsatellite primers. We are proceeding to the genetic analysis of the 32 populations included in the study, which includes the samples collected from the Cedarburg Bog. Data analysis will continue in 2016.

Funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and a Botanical Society of America Graduate Research Award.