Conservation genetics of the endangered endemic Sambucus palmensis Link (Sambucaceae) from the Canary Islands
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- Sosa, P.A., González-Pérez, M.A., Moreno, C. et al. Conserv Genet (2010) 11: 2357. doi:10.1007/s10592-010-0122-8
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Five polymorphic microsatellites (simple sequence repeat; SSR) markers were used to estimate the levels of genetic variation within and among natural populations from different islands of the endangered endemic from the Canary Islands Sambucus palmensis Link (Sambucaceae). Genetic data were used to infer potential evolutionary processes that could have led to present genetic differentiation among islands. The levels of genetic variability of S. palmensis were considerably high; proportion of polymorphic loci (P = 100%), mean number of alleles per locus (A = 6.8), average expected heterozygosity (He = 0.499). In spite of its small population size and endemic character, 58 different multilocus genotypes were detected within the 165 individuals analyzed. All samples located in different islands always presented different multilocus genotypes. Principal Coordinates Analysis, genetic differentiation analysis (FST and GST′) and Bayesian Cluster Analysis revealed significant genetic differences among populations located in different islands. However, this genetic differentiation was not recorded among Tenerife and La Gomera populations, possibly revealing the uncontrolled transfer of material between both islands. AMOVA analysis attributed 77% of the variance to differences within populations, whereas 8% was distributed between islands. The levels of genetic differentiation observed among populations, and the genetic diversity distribution within populations in S. palmensis, indicate that management should aim to conserve as many of the small populations as possible. Concentrating conservation efforts only on the few large populations would result in the likelihood of loss of genetic variability for the species.