Adam J. Ramsey
Graduate Program: Ph.D. Pre-Candidate
Major Professor: Dr. Jennifer Mandel
I am interested in understanding the consequences of heteroplasmy on plant fitness. I mainly use Daucus carota (carrot), a gynodioecious species. Daucus carota exists as a domesticated crop (ssp. sativus) and as a wild weed (ssp. carota). The wild relative is native to Eurasia but is a highly invasive species in North America and elsewhere. Wild populations have the potential to cross pollinate crop populations and introduce undesirable traits. Paternal leakage, one of the mechanisms of trait introduction, creates heteroplasmy. Understanding how plants benefit (or not) under these conditions is poorly known, yet the implications to crop production may be profound.