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Daniel Scholes receives Indiana Academy of Science research grant

Daniel Scholes, assistant professor of biology, received a Senior Research Grant from the Indiana Academy of Science in the amount of $2,050.

The research study seeks to determine if differences in ploidy (i.e., the number of genome copies in their cells) between individuals of Claytonia virginica (spring beauty) are causing a barrier to their reproduction.  Individuals of two ploidy levels have been found living in close proximity to one another in Morgan-Monroe State Forest, and they share the same pollinators and overlap in the time of their flowering, yet no hybrids have been found.

The funded study will determine if reproduction between these individuals is possible, testing whether a genomic mechanism could cause individuals to not be able to reproduce despite having no obvious physical barriers.  Preliminary data that served as the basis for the proposed study were collected by University of Indianapolis undergraduate students William Buelsing ’17 (environmental science), Kyle Barkovich ’18 (nursing), Grace Buck ’18 (human biology), and Savannah Phipps ’21 (biology).