ES&P and NAS faculty member Lisa Grubisha and colleagues from Centre College and Framingham State University, have a new research paper out in Applications of Plant Science. The study focused on the identification of short repeating segments of DNA called microsatellites in Beach Plum (Prunus maritima). Beach plum is a rare plant that is only found in the coastal dune ecosystem in New England and listed as an endangered species in three states. The shrubs help to stabilize dune soil and the fruit is an important resource for wildlife that is also harvested by humans. The identification of the microsatellites will allow population geneticists and conservation biologists to identify the genetic variability of existing plant populations and better understand the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation in the endangered coastal dune ecosystem.

Microsatellite Marker Development for the Coastal Dune Shrub Prunus maritima (Rosaceae) by Emily M. Badgley, Lisa C. Grubisha, Anna K. Roland, Bryan A. Connolly, and Matthew R. Klooster in Applications in Plant Sciences 3(2):1400119. 2015