Date of Award

Winter 2010

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Thomas M Davis


The evolutionary genetics of plant reproduction is a fascinating aspect of plant biology, involving an astounding diversity of reproductive strategies. While the majority of flowering plants are hermaphroditic (monoecy), many species have opted for an alternate mode, whereby male and female gametes originate on different plants (dioecy).

Wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana, is a particularly interesting species, as its members can be female, male, or hermaphroditic. Its female flowers display arrested development of male reproductive organs (stamens), evidently conditioned by a single dominant allele of an unknown genetic locus. My aim was to isolate and characterize the gene(s) responsible for male sterility. A candidate gene approach was used to identify F. virginiana homologs of seven genes known to affect stamen development, representing three gene families. Their characterization included linkage analysis, results of which suggest particular ongoing focus on the SUPERMAN-like gene FRASUP5..