Designing a test to identify male and female Mulberry at the sapling developmental stage




Alcozer, Alexandra
Maier, Camelia

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The sex of mulberries is not known until they are fully matured and bloom. This poses a problem because nurseries use cloning of male trees to obtained saplings. Cloning does not allow for genetic variability which can pose a threat to the species. The aim for this study is to determine saplings estrogen levels as an indicative of sex before maturation. Previous research indicated that high estrogenic activity correlates with femaleness while low estrogen activity correlates to maleness in mature trees. To test the hypothesis that female saplings will have higher estrogen activity, 30 sexually reproduced saplings were collected from the Bettye Myers Butterfly Garden. The saplings were extracted in 80% ethanol. The estrogen equivalents in each extract were estimated based on an estradiol standard curve. The extracts will be inoculated into S. cerevisiae strain BJ3505 expressing the human estrogen receptor to determine their estrogen activity. It is expected that part of the extract will show high estrogenic activity, indicative of femaleness.


Creative Arts and Research Symposium
Creative Arts and Research Symposium