I am studying ecological genetics of a small mustard, Arabidopsis lyrata, the lyre-leaved rock cress. This close relative of the model organism, A. thaliana, grows throughout the eastern part of North America, in a variety of habitats. Our lab is interested in the extent to which several target populations have become genetically differentiated, and whether the genetic differences are due to local adaptation, driven by natural selection. Using a common garden approach, our lab group (Corey Raitta, ’04, Mike Lloyd, ’05, and Meaghan McIntyre, ’05) has demonstrated that target populations (from VA, MD, and NY) are genetically differentiated. We have also determined that for one trait, early root expansion, the populations are locally adapted.
Fritz, R.S., B.M. Roche, and C.M. Orians (1994) Resistance of hybrid and parental willows to herbivores: hypotheses variable herbivore responses over three years. In: Dynamics of forest herbivory: quest for pattern and principle, (W.J. Matteson, P. Niemela, and M. Rousi, eds.), USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NC-183, N.C. Forest Experimental Station, St. Paul, MN 55108.
Roche, B.M., H.M. Alexander, and A.D. Maltby (1995) Dispersal and disease gradients of anther-smut infection of Silene alba at different life stages. Ecology 76(6): 1863-1871.
Roche, B.M. and R.S. Fritz (1997) Genetics of resistance of Salix sericea to a diverse community of herbivores. Evolution 51(5), 1490-1498.
Roche, B.M. and R. S. Fritz. 1998. Effects of host plant hybridization on resistance to willow leaf rust caused by Melampsora sp. European Journal of Forest Pathology.