Jake Olvera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bumblebees serve an important role as pollinators and many species are in decline. Effective conservation efforts rely on accurate species identifications which can be difficult because of morphological similarities among species. Southern Utah is home to many species - including Bombus morrisoni and Bombus nevadensis, which are challenging to morphologically differentiate despite being in different subgenera. These species may be inadequately represented in Southern Utah and other databases due to their ease of misidentification. To solve this problem of misidentification, we examined COI DNA barcodes to determine if unique restriction enzyme sites could be used to differentiate the two species. We found at least 9 unique restriction enzyme sites that could be used to distinguish Bombus morrisoni from Bombus nevadensis. Our results can be used to provide a reliable method for differentiating these two species, especially in areas where morphologically similar variants coexist.
University / Institution: Southern Utah University
Format: In Person
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Jacqualine Grant