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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Gitzendanner, Matthew A. [1], Germain-Aubrey, Charlotte [2], Weekley, Carl W. [3], Menges, E.S. [3], Soltis, Douglas E. [4], Soltis, Pamela S. [5].

Microsatellite evidence for high clonality and limited genetic diversity in Ziziphus celata (Rhamnaceae), an endangered, self-incompatible Lake Wales Ridge, Florida, USA endemic.

Genetic data are increasingly playing a role in the conservation of rare and endangered species, especially in cases where aspects of the biology of the species, such as mating systems, present complications to management. Ziziphus celata is an endangered sandhill endemic shrub from central Florida. This self-incompatible species is known from only 14 natural populations. We developed eight microsatellite loci for Z. celata and surveyed genetic diversity in all wild populations. Seven of the eight loci were polymorphic across populations, though one contained many null alleles and was discarded. Consistent with the self-incompatible mating system, observed heterozygosities were high (average population level Ho=0.71) and higher than expected heterozygosities (He=0.38). We found nine of the populations to be entirely clonal, consisting of a single multi-locus genotype. When identifying multi-locus genotypes in a clonally reproducing organism, it is important to take into consideration somatic mutations and the possibility of genotyping errors. This becomes increasingly important as more sensitive markers, such as microsatellites, are used. Thirty-six multi-locus genotypes were identified; however, many of these were very similar and may represent as few as 20 multi-locus lineages. Different methods of identifying multi-locus lineages result in different genetic entities that would be the foci of conservation for Z. celata. In some cases, where one sample differs from others by a single mutational step, it is probably reasonable to treat these genotypes as effectively the same. However, where multiple samples are found for each of the similar genotypes, we argue that these should be identified and conserved even though the genotypes may only differ by a single mutational step. The two most diverse populations of Z. celata are found on unprotected, private lands and were only discovered three years ago, highlighting the need for continued surveys and habitat protection efforts. The microsatellites developed provide an effective toolkit for managing the genetic diversity of this critically endangered species.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, PO Box 118526, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, Florida Museum of Natural History - Dickinson Hall, P.O. Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
3 - Archbold Biological Station, Plant Ecology Lab, P.O. Box 2057, Lake Placid, Florida, 33862, USA
4 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 220 Bartram Hall, P.O. Box 118526, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA
5 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA

Genetic diversity
clonal analysis
conservation genetics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 47
Location: 551A/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 47002
Abstract ID:532

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