Robert G Laport

Robert G Laport
The College of Idaho · Biology

PhD

About

31
Publications
7,184
Reads
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669
Citations
Introduction
I am a field and organismal biologist by training, with experience ranging from herpetology and intertidal ecology, to botany and molecular biology. I am studying polyploid speciation and cytogeography, with the aim of identifying the important features in the development of reproductive isolation between closely related populations.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - July 2022
Rhodes College
Position
  • Assistant Professor & Curator of the Herbarium
August 2015 - July 2018
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Continuing prior research into the reproductive biology of desert plants, population structure, evolution, and speciation. Also, helping to generate sequence data for Solanaceae species.
August 2015 - December 2017
University of Colorado Denver
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Instructor for Introduction to Evolution: curriculum development, large lecture course instruction, creating exams
Education
August 2006 - July 2013
University of Rochester
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
August 2006 - June 2009
University of Rochester
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
September 1999 - June 2003
Oregon State University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study. Polyploidy is widely recognized as a mechanism of diversification. Contributions of polyploidy to specific pre- and postzygotic barriers—and classifications of polyploid speciation as “ecological” vs. “non-ecological”—are more contentious. Evaluation of these issues requires comprehensive studies that test ecological character...
Article
Full-text available
Polyploidy is a major mechanism of chromosome evolution and speciation in flowering plants. Delineation of polyploid populations as species or subspecies is complicated because of the uncertainties of distinguishing closely-related diploids and polyploids in field conditions. Here we evaluate the practical identification of polyploids—using geograp...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract— The North American creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, Zygophyllaceae) is a widespread and ecologically dominant taxon of North American warm deserts. The species is comprised of diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid populations, and touted as a classical example of an autopolyploid taxonomic complex. Here we use flow cytometry and DNA sequenc...
Article
Full-text available
Larrea tridentata is a dominant and widespread shrub of North American warm deserts. The species comprises three "chromosomal races," including diploids (Chihuahuan Desert), tetraploids (Sonoran Desert), hexaploids (Mojave and western Sonoran Deserts), as well as the geographically restricted tetraploid L. tridentata var. arenaria. Creosote bush is...
Preprint
Full-text available
The inadvertent introduction and rapid spread of chestnut blight (caused by Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr) in the early 20th century resulted in the demise of American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.; Fagaceae) as a major component of forest canopies and had negative impacts on eastern forest communities. Research efforts over th...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: Whole-genome duplication (polyploidy) is an important force shaping flowering-plant evolution. Ploidy-specific plant-pollinator interactions represent important community-level biotic interactions that can lead to nonrandom mating and the persistence of mixed-ploidy populations. Methods: At a naturally occurring diploid-tetraploid conta...
Article
Full-text available
The American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.; Fagaceae) was an historically important hardwood species in eastern deciduous forests of the United States and Canada prior to being nearly eradicated by chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr). Several remnant populations have been identified persisting across fragmented part...
Article
Full-text available
PREMISE: Obtaining phenotypic data from herbarium specimens can provide important insights into plant evolution and ecology but requires significant manual effort and time. Here, we present LeafMachine, an application designed to autonomously measure leaves from digitized herbarium specimens or leaf images using an ensemble of machine learning algori...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Alternative hypotheses of Darwin's Naturalization Conundrum (DNC) predict that the non‐native species that successfully establish within a community are those either more closely or more distantly related to the resident native species. Despite the increasing number of studies using phylogenetic data to test DNC and evaluate community assembly,...
Article
Aim Whole‐genome duplication (polyploidy) can influence the biogeography and ecology of plants that differ in ploidy level (cytotype). Here, we address how two consequences of plant polyploidy (parapatry of cytotypes and altered species interactions) shape the biogeography of herbivorous insects. Location Warm deserts of North America. Taxa Gall...
Article
Full-text available
Polyploidy is widely acknowledged to have played an important role in the evolution and diversification of vascular plants. However, the influence of genome duplication on population-level dynamics and its cascading effects at the community level remain unclear. In part, this is due to persistent uncertainties over the extent of polyploid phenotypi...
Article
Full-text available
Genome duplication, polyploidy, has played an important role in the diversification of flowering plants, but the ecological and evolutionary consequences of polyploidy still remain unclear. Polyploidy is known to either cause of facilitate phenotypic changes, and ploidy specific phenotypic differences may lead to the exploitation of novel niche spa...
Poster
We combined a phylogenetic framework and continental-scale data on plant communities from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to test the importance of genome duplication in structuring communities of Brassicaceae and Rosaceae families across the United States.
Article
Full-text available
It is increasingly recognized that evolution may occur in ecological time. It is not clear, however, how fast evolution – or phenotypic change more generally – may be in comparison with the associated ecology, or whether systems with fast ecological dynamics generally have relatively fast rates of phenotypic change. We developed a new dataset on st...
Book
Full-text available
This book offers low-cost and rapid molecular assays for the characterization of mutant plant germplasm. Detailed protocols are provided for the desiccation of plant tissues; the extraction of high-quality DNA for downstream applications; the extraction of single-strand-specific nucleases for single nucleotide polymorphism; and small insertion/dele...
Chapter
Full-text available
Of importance to the successful extraction of genomic DNA from plant tissues is the collection of the suitable material and proper storage of the tissues before DNA isolation. If the samples are not properly treated, DNA can be degraded prior to isolation. The rate of sample degradation can vary dramatically from species to species depending on the...
Chapter
Full-text available
PCR is used to amplify regions to be interrogated for the presence of mutations (SNP and small indel polymorphisms). While PCR is a common practice and many protocols exist, reaction conditions are provided here that are optimized for TILLING and Ecotilling assays utilizing native agarose gel electrophoresis.
Chapter
Full-text available
Standard agarose gel electrophoresis is a quick method for the evaluation of the quality and quantity of DNA. This chapter provides examples of genomic DNA produced using the low-cost extraction protocol, PCR amplification using the extracted genomic DNA, and enzymatic mismatch cleavage of PCR products with crude celery juice extract and weed juice...
Chapter
Full-text available
The methods described in this chapter were developed to avoid toxic organic phase separation utilized in many low-cost DNA extraction protocols such as the CTAB method. The steps involve: (1) lysis of the plant material, (2) binding of DNA to silica powder under chaotropic conditions, (3) washing the bound DNA, and (4) elution of DNA from the silic...
Chapter
Full-text available
All laboratories should have standardized health and safety rules and practices. These can vary from region to region due to differences in legislation. Before beginning new experiments, please consult your local safety guidelines. Failure to follow these rules could result in accidents, fines, or a closure of the laboratory. Consider the following...
Chapter
Full-text available
Denaturation and annealing of PCR products allows DNA strands with small sequence differences to hybridize together. The result is heteroduplexed molecules that are single stranded in polymorphic sequence locations, but double stranded elsewhere. These molecules are the substrates for cleavage by single-strand-specific nucleases such as CEL I, crud...
Chapter
Full-text available
A crude celery extract containing the single-strand-specific nuclease CEL I, has been widely used in TILLING and Ecotilling projects around the world. Yet, celery is hard to come by in some countries. Sequences homologous to CEL I can be found in different plant species. Previous work showed that similar mismatch cleavage activities could be found...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The long separation of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts is reflected in the high species richness and endemism of their floras. Although many endemic species from both deserts reach their distributional limits where the Sierra Madre Occidental massif fragments into smaller mountain complexes in northern Mexico and adjoining areas of the United St...
Article
Subspecies of Anolis lizards are often defined on the basis of geographic variation in the color and pattern of the dewlap, an extensible throat fan considered central to species recognition and sexual selection. Among the most impressive examples of this phenomenon are two species of trunk anoles found across Hispaniola and the Bahamas: Anolis dis...
Article
Full-text available
Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) is an important nitrogen-fixing crop that provides much of the world's protein and oil. However, the available tools for investigation of soybean gene function are limited. Nevertheless, chemical mutagenesis can be applied to soybean followed by screening for mutations in a target of interest using a strategy known as...
Data
Sequenced nucleotide changes and their predicted effect on the encoded amino acid.

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