Sultan Publishes Several New Plant Studies

Sonia Sultan, professor and chair of biology, professor of environmental studies, recently had several new articles published.

A resurrection study reveals rapid adaptive evolution within populations of an invasive plant,” was published in Evolutionary Applications, September 2012. Wesleyan research students Tim Horgan-Kobelski BA ’09/MA ’10, Lauren Nichols BA/MA ’09, Charlotte Riggs ’08 and Ryan Waples ’07 co-authored the study. The paper is part of a multi-year study of the introduced Asian annual Polygonum cespitosum, which has recently become invasive in North America.

Also in September, Sultan had another paper published about the same invasive species at PLoS One (Public Library of Science One). This paper, titled, “Phenotypic Plasticity and Population Differentiation in an Ongoing Species Invasion,” was co-authored with Dr. Silvia Matensanz, who recently completed a Marie Curie International Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sultan’s lab, and Horgan-Kobelski.

In April, Sultan and her previous post-doc, Timothy Griffith, published an article, “Field-based insights to the evolution of specialization: plasticity and fitness across habitats in a specialist/generalist species pair,” in Ecology and Evolution.

Sultan and members of her lab also recently published two papers on the related topic of “transgenerational plasticity,” or the transmission of environmental influences from one generation to the next. An article by Sultan and Ph.D. student Jacob Herman, “Adaptive transgenerational plasticity: Case studies, mechanisms, and implications for natural populations,” was published in Frontiers in Plant Genetics and Genomics in December 2011. Together with Horgan-Kobelski and Riggs, Sultan and Herman also published, “Adaptive transgenerational plasticity in an annual plant: Grandparental and parental drought stress enhance performance of seedlings in dry soil,” in Integrative and Comparative Biology on April 20, 2012.