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Abstract Detail

Population Genetics

Brzyski, Jessica [1], Culley, Theresa M. [1].

Genetic variation and population structure in a rare clonal shrub, Spiraea virginiana (Rosaceae).

Patterns of genetic variation differ depending on the characteristics exhibited by the species, such as abundance, being classified as rare or widespread, or by the mode of reproduction (asexual or sexual). Rare species have been generalized to exhibit low heterozygosity and allelic diversity, while having high population structure. Alternatively, highly clonal species are generalized to exhibit high heterozygosity and allelic diversity, while experiencing low population structure. When these two aspects are combined, it is uncertain which genetic pattern will be observed. Using the federally threatened woody riparian shrub, Spiraea virginiana, we examined the genetic effects of being both rare and clonal by determining within and among population levels of genetic variability using microsatellite markers developed for this clonal species. Observed heterozygosity was high and genotypic diversity was low, being representative of high clonal reproduction (averaging 0.505 and 0.099, respectively), but number of alleles within populations was low (range = 2.0-3.6), which is potentially more indicative of being rare. Populations exhibited significantly high levels of genetic structuring (Θ = 0.302), and low rates of migration. Although clonality predicts higher homogeneity among populations, S. virginiana populations have most likely been isolated from one another for an extended period of time, thus allowing the population to diverge. These results indicate that those species exhibiting more than one characteristic do not conform to any one pattern of genetic variation. This research shows the importance of examining genetic variation and population structure in species with multiple characteristics, such as clonality and rarity, to further tease apart any observable genetic patterns.

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1 - University of Cincinnati, Department of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, USA

Spiraea virginiana.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 25
Location: 556A/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 25007
Abstract ID:38

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