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High allozyme diversity and unidirectional linear migration patterns within a population of tetraploid Isoetes sinensis, a rare and endangered pteridophyte

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Y. - Y. Chen, Yang, W., Li, W., Li, Z. - Z., Huang, H. - W.
Journal:Aquatic Botany
Pagination:52 - 58
Date Published:2009///
Keywords:Allotetraploid, Genetic diversity, Hydrochory, Isoetes, Riparian plant, Unidirectional migration

Isoetes sinensis (Isoetaceae), an aquatic quillwort which occurs only in two fragmented sites of China as an allotetraploid, is critically endangered. Genetic variation among eight subpopulations of I. sinensis was examined in the Xin'an River (119°14′-15′E, 29°28′N) by using allozyme polymorphism. Eighteen loci of 10 enzyme systems were examined and used for the analysis of population genetic parameters. As expected for allotetraploids, fixed heterozygosity was found at four loci. A high level of genetic diversity was observed in the population, with mean number of alleles per loci of 1.8, and mean percentage of polymorphic loci of 55.6%, which were much higher than the average values in fern species. The genetic variation within each subpopulation was not positively correlated with its size, which may be explained by high gene flow (Nm = 2.57), clonal reproduction and fixed heterozygosity of allopolyploid. The I. sinensis population contained high clonal diversity (PD = 0.39, D = 0.95), indicating the successful seedling recruitment of the population. Significant positive relationship was detected between clonal diversity and the size of subpopulation. Partitioning the genetic diversity indicated that 91.1% of the genetic variation was within subpopulations and only 8.9% existed among subpopulations. The migration pattern of I. sinensis along the Xin'an River is best explained by a source-sink model, but with unidirectional gene flow among subpopulations underlined by hydrochoric force. The results were then discussed in relation to both in situ and ex situ conservation efforts of the population. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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