Advisor(s)

Katherine L. Krynak, PhD
Ohio Northern University
Environmental & Field Biology, Science, Technology, and Mathematics
k-krynak@onu.edu

Kenneth J. Oswald, PhD
Ohio Northern University
Environmental & Field Biology, Science, Technology, and Mathematics
k-oswald@onu.edu

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

23-4-2021 9:00 AM

Description

Unisexual ambystomid salamanders are hybridize with closely related species through kleptogenesis, meaning that unisexual females reproduce by utilizing the spermataphores of closely related species to initiate egg development. Ohio’s unisexual salamander populations are understudied, and genomic contributions to populations are largely unknown. This project sought to characterize two Ohio unisexual salamander populations found in Cuyahoga and Hardin Counties. By quantifying physical characteristics, comparing erythrocyte sizes, and DNA sequencing, genomic composition can be determined. Based on coloring, pattern and head/snout shape, we hypothesized that A. texanum and A. laterale were present in Hardin County’s unisexual populations wheras, A. jeffersonianum would be present in Cuyahoga County. Erythrocyte measurements determined that two individuals were polyploid, while the rest were either diploid or polyploid. However, these slides were not fixed with methanol at the time of their preparation, so erythrocyte sizes might be underestimated. DNA sequencing found that the Hardin County’s population contains A. texanum and A. laterale genes, while the Cuyahoga County’s population contains A. texanum, A. laterale, and A. jeffersonianum. Morphological and genetic data analyses from additional salamanders collected from Hardin County in 2021 are ongoing, and results from these more recently-collected samples will also be given.

Award

Second place recipient for the School of Science, Technology and Mathematics Choice Award

Restricted

Available to ONU community via local IP address and ONU login.

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Apr 23rd, 9:00 AM

Determining the Genome of a Kleptogenic Salamander Species

Unisexual ambystomid salamanders are hybridize with closely related species through kleptogenesis, meaning that unisexual females reproduce by utilizing the spermataphores of closely related species to initiate egg development. Ohio’s unisexual salamander populations are understudied, and genomic contributions to populations are largely unknown. This project sought to characterize two Ohio unisexual salamander populations found in Cuyahoga and Hardin Counties. By quantifying physical characteristics, comparing erythrocyte sizes, and DNA sequencing, genomic composition can be determined. Based on coloring, pattern and head/snout shape, we hypothesized that A. texanum and A. laterale were present in Hardin County’s unisexual populations wheras, A. jeffersonianum would be present in Cuyahoga County. Erythrocyte measurements determined that two individuals were polyploid, while the rest were either diploid or polyploid. However, these slides were not fixed with methanol at the time of their preparation, so erythrocyte sizes might be underestimated. DNA sequencing found that the Hardin County’s population contains A. texanum and A. laterale genes, while the Cuyahoga County’s population contains A. texanum, A. laterale, and A. jeffersonianum. Morphological and genetic data analyses from additional salamanders collected from Hardin County in 2021 are ongoing, and results from these more recently-collected samples will also be given.