A) Sequencing, Assembly, and Annotation of Sarracenia Genomes
B) The Carnivorous Linkage Map
We have developed a Sarracenia genetic linkage map of 437 SNP and SSR markers with a total length of 2017 cM, based upon an F2 generation of 280 plants from a genetic cross between Spu and Sps. We estimate that the map covers 80% of the total genetic linkage map. Spu has an open pitfall type of pitcher trap, while Sps has a more closed, lobster trap, type of pitcher which insects may enter but have difficulty exiting. We used this F2 to place 64 pitcher morphology quantitative trait loci (QTL) for 17 traits on the genetic linkage map.
C) The Sarracenia-microbiome crosstalk
Sarracenia plants trap insects in modified leaves called "pitchers" and digest them to gain N and P nutrients with the help of a complex microbiome that develops in the pitcher fluid. We are using this host-microbiome system for investigating the principles governing microbiome structure, assembly, and interaction with the host. The leaf pitcher architecture of the Sarracenia species varies, which influences the insect species they collect and the species content of the assembled microbiomes. The factors influencing the microbiome community are mostly unknown and likely complicated, involving host plant genetics, the local environment, and prey insects and their associated microbiomes