Desiccation and diversity in dryland mosses; The 3D Moss Project

I am a collaborator on an NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity 3D Moss Project. Led by a team of six primary investigators, the 3D Moss group aims to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that have produced and maintained diversity at five different levels of organization within Syntrichia:

  • Genomic Diversity – The number, order, and variation of genes
  • Transcriptomic Diversity – The genes expressed in different developmental stages and hydration states
  • Organismal Diversity – The species of Syntrichia around the world
  • Population Diversity – The genetic variation within interbreeding individuals across a landscape
  • Community Diversity – The variety of organisms such as lichens, cyanobacteria, fungi, and other mosses interacting with Syntrichia in biocrusts

I am primarily contributing to the phylogenetics Syntrichia components of the 3D Moss Project where we used a genome skimming approach to recover single-copy loci from all three organismal genomes we used infer the Syntrichia phylogeny. I am also a collaborator on population genetics projects investigating the genetic sex ratio of populations of Syntrichia caninervis, a plant known for extremely female-biased sex ratios.

Jenna T. B. Ekwealor
Jenna T. B. Ekwealor
Assistant Professor

Lab PI and moss evangelist.