, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 161-168

Genetic and clonal diversity in Korean populations ofVitex rotundifolia (Verbenaceae)

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Vitex rotundifolia L.f. is a woody perennial and has sexual and asexual modes of reproduction. Allozyme study was conducted on 550 plants in 13 Korean populations. The levels of genetic variability and divergence within and among populations, respectively, are considerably lower and higher than the mean values for woody plants with similar life history tralts. Mean percentage of polymorphic loci (P P), mean number of alleles per locus (A P), and mean genetic diversity (He P) within populations ofV. rotundifolia were: 16.7%, 1.21, and 0.047. On average, about 79% of the total variation inV. rotundifolia was common to all populations (meanG ST=0.208). In addition, significant differences in allele frequencies among populations were found in all polymorphic loci examined (P<0.001). On the other hand, levels of genotypic diversity within and among populations were moderate. About 44% (18/41) of multilocus genotypes were “local genotypes” (genotypes occurring in only one population), whereas only one “widespread genotype” (genotypes occurring in more than 75% of the populations) were detected. The mean number of multilocus genotypes per population (G) and mean genotypic diversity index (D G) were 8.4 and 0.74, respectively. Most common multilocus genotypes found in populations were homozygous for five polymorphic loci. The abundance of ramets of these genets is responsible for the low levels of expected heterozygosity within populations. The results indicate that clonal reproduction may act as an enhancer of genetic drift by reducing effective size of local populations ofV. rotundifolia.