Schiedea genomics & evolution
I am currently most focused on transcriptome and genome assembly and phylogenomics in the Hawaiian endemic genus, Schiedea, one of the most highly endangered plant groups in Hawaii. I am assembling genomes for three species as a part of a collaborative effort to reconstruct species-level phylogeny of a morphologically diverse group that includes spectacular diversity in pollination and breeding systems.
Phylogeny & evolution of American milkweed vines
I am very excited about phylogenomic approaches applied to milkweed evolution, especially milkweed vines. I have specialized in subtribe Gonolobinae and my work thus far has provided evidence for improved placement of multiple species and groups. I am interested in furthering my work in the group using a hyb-seq approach complemented by population genomics to better understand species delimitation, hybridization, and population structure. Many milkweed vines are rare; I'd like to use data to help develop conservation priorities.
McDonnell, A., Parks, M., & Fishbein, M. (2018). Multilocus Phylogenetics of New World Milkweed Vines (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Gonolobinae). Systematic Botany, 43(1), 77-96. doi:10.1600/036364418X697021
McDonnell, A. & Fishbein, M. (2016). Matelea hirtelliflora (Apocynaceae), a new species of milkweed vine from Northeast Texas. Systematic Botany. 21(3). 781-786.
McDonnell, A. & Fishbein, M. (2016). Polystemma canisferum (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae): a distinctive new gonloboid milkweed vine from Sonora, Mexico. Phytotaxa, 246(1). 78-84.
McDonnell, A., M. Fishbein, M. Quinn, T. Hare, and K. Keith. (2015) Matelea chihuahuensis (Apocynaceae): An addition to the flora of the United States and a synopsis of the species. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 9(1), 187-194.
McDonnell, A. 2014. Non-twining milkweed vines of Oklahoma: an overview of Matelea biflora and Matelea cynanchoides (Apocynaceae). Oklahoma Native Plant Record, 1:67-79.
Breeding System Evolution in Australian Solanum
In collaboration with the Martine lab at Bucknell University, I seek to understand diversity and speciation in Australian plants including the description of new species of eggplant relatives and the application of population genomics and phylogenomics to Australian Solanum species. This work is helping us to better understand broader patterns in plant speciation in the northern third of the Australian continent and to put breeding systems and other traits into an evolutionary context.
Ndem, J., Hall, J., McDonnell, A, and Martine, C. Accepted in American Journal of Botany. Differential reward in “male” versus “female” pollen of functionally dioecious Solanum (Solanaceae).
Gagnon, E., Hilgenhof, R., Orejuela, A., McDonnell, A., Sablock, G., Aubriot, X., Giacomin, L., Gouvêa, Y., Bohs, L., Dodsworth, S., Maurin, O., Forest, F., Martine, C., Poczai, P., Knapp, S., and Särkinen, T. Phylogenomic data reveals hard polytomies across the backbone of the large genus Solanum (Solanaceae). Submitted to American Journal of Botany.
Hayes, D., Jordon-Thaden, I., McDonnell, A., Cantley, J., & Martine, C. (2019) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the academic small greenhouse setting: A case study using Solanum spp. (Solanaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 7( 8): e11281.
McDonnell, A. J., Wetreich, H. B., Cantley, J. T., Jobson, P., & Martine, C. T. (2019). Solanum plastisexum, an enigmatic new bush tomato from the Australian Monsoon Tropics exhibiting breeding system fluidity. PhytoKeys. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.124.33526
Martine, C., Jordon-Thaden, I., McDonnell, A., Cantley, J., Hayes, D., Roche, M., Frawley, E., Gilman, I., and Tank, D. (2019) Phylogeny of the Australian Solanum dioicum group using seven nuclear genes, with consideration of Symon’s fruit and seed dispersal hypotheses. PLoS ONE. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207564
Population genomics and conservation of rare plants
We also used similar genomic methods to better understand population structure and gene flow within populations of a number of locally rare Pennsylvania taxa; these form a set of complementary projects that allows us to use genetic data from rare species to better inform conservation and management decisions as a collaborative effort with botanists at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
McDonnell, A., Moore, C., Schuette, S., and Martine, C. 2021. Population genomics of Erigenia bulbosa (Apiaceae), a rare plant in Pennsylvania. International Journal of Plant Sciences 182(5). doi:10.1086/713917
Moore, C., McDonnell, A., Schuette, S., and Martine, C. 2021. Lepidopteran granivore reduces seed counts in a rare species of riparian scour prairies. Natural Areas Journal 41(1). doi:10.3375/043.041.0107