Keene State professor eager to explore plant’s mysteries
Keene State College associate professor of biology Kristen Porter-Utley conducts field work in southern Mexico during her previous study of the systematics of passionflowers. (COURTESY)
Over the summer and fall Porter-Utley plans to generate and use the molecule sequence data of 100 plants in the 551 species Ochnaceae plant family to produce a preliminary evolutionary tree for the large family of pantropical plants.
It’s a big plant family, but no one has ever studied it on a molecular level, she said.
A Keene State College Faculty Development Grant is funding the study.
“Where did these plants originate and how did they spread and when did they spread into the different areas of the world?” are the questions Porter-Utley is working to answer. “What we are really interested in is how these plants throughout the world are related to each other.”
Many of the Ochnaceae species, like the forests they grow in around the world, are rare or threatened.
“None of the flowers (in this plant species) produce nectar. They are pretty much all dependent on pollen gathering,” she said. “So many of those pollinators are threatened and impact the plants.”
Porter-Utley most recently conducted a longterm study of passion flower plants that led to field work in southern Mexico.
In January, Porter-Utley plans to submit her data in an application for a National Science Foundation grant that could fund more extensive study in the field, perhaps in Madagascar or South America, she said.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Jon Cavaiani dies at 70; desperate stand in '71 led to Medal of Honor - 0
- Meriam Ibrahim, family welcomed as long journey ends in Manchester - 2
- Moose International files suit to claim Claremont lodge - 0
- NH man's wife flies to Rome, meets Pope Francis after giving birth on death row in Sudan - 2
- Manchester postpones Fourth of July celebration - 0
- Reports say Sudanese Christian woman released; Manchester relative hopeful - 0
- 'Cadillac' health tax costs draw big worry - 13
- Wastewater lagoon blamed for Exit 4 odor - 0
- Author and poet Maya Angelou dies at 86 - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Officials hire principal for Golden Brook school - 0
- Seniors help students start year on the right foot, with the write stuff - 0
- Derry councilors select semi-finalists for town admin job - 0
- Plaistow begins search for new police chief - 0
- Without an exemption, Goffstown resident must pay high taxes on solar energy panels - 1
- Upcoming selectmen's meeting stirring controversy among Bow's firefighters - 1
- Manchester police to hold ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event - 0
- Manchester police officer finds gun in cyclist’s backpack - 2
- President Obama: Rescue attempt of NH-based journalist James Foley failed - 27
Derry to NH: Take Exit 4A
Editorial: Garcia gains Lambert lies
Hassan, Havenstein both raise nearly $2m