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ODU Doctoral Student is Prominent Contributor to International Journal of Plant Science

  • Doctoral student Jay Bolin (left) and Professor Lytton Musselman look over some samples in their ODU lab.

Jay F. Bolin, an Old Dominion University doctoral student in ecological sciences whose current research in southern Africa is supported by the Fulbright Program, made two contributions to the February issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences. His photo of a root holoparasite is featured on the journal's cover, and he is the lead author of an article inside.

The photo shows the connate anthers of Hydnora africana, and the article describes a catch-and-release mechanism that the rarely seen bloom of the parasite uses to get pollination assistance from insects. The title of the article is "Pollination Biology of Hydnora Africana (Hydnoraceae) in Namibia: Brood-Site Mimicry with Insect Imprisonment."

Bolin's coauthors are his two advisers, Erika Maass, a faculty member at the University of Namibia, and Lytton Musselman, Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany at ODU.

Mining in Namibia may be threatening Hydnora, and Bolin proposes to clarify its taxonomy with molecular and classical methods. This information and studies on the reproductive biology of the plant are important for its conservation. He also is mentoring University of Namibia students and lecturing on molecular techniques in plant ecology and systematic during his 2008-09 Fulbright year in Africa.

In 2006, a photograph that Bolin took in southern Africa of Hydnora africana in full bloom won a plant images contest sponsored by the Botanical Society of America.

The cover of the February International Journal of Plant Sciences can be seen at www.journals.uchicago.edu/action/showLargeCover?issue=40569537.

This article was posted on: March 19, 2009

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