Isolation and development of 13 new, polymorphic microsatellite loci for a threatened, understory tree, Mesogyne insignis, (Moraceae) from the Eastern Arc Mountains
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- Murdoch, K.C., Ndangalasi, H.J., LeCaptain, M.K. et al. Conservation Genet Resour (2013) 5: 275. doi:10.1007/s12686-012-9786-3
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Fourteen microsatellite loci were isolated from Mesogyneinsignis, a threatened, African understory tree. Alleles ranged between two and eight per locus, with expected heterozygosity ranging from 0.063 to 0.845 and observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.000 to 0.733. One locus departed from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium leaving 13 polymorphic loci that will be used to study the genetic variability of fragmented populations so as to enhance the species conservation efforts.
KeywordsCastilleaeEastern Arc MountainsMesogyne insignisMicrosatellite markersMoraceaeTanzania
Mesogyne insignis is a monoecious understory shrub or tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae (Berg 1977; Datwyler and Weiblen 2004). Mesogyne has a disjunct distribution and occurs in São Tomé, (Gulf of Guinea) and the Eastern Arc Mountains (Tanzania; Berg 1977; Figueiredo 1994). It is listed as vulnerable on the Red List (IUCN 2012). Mesogyne is monotypic and represents one of a few paleotropical lineages of the tribe Castilleae (Datwyler and Weiblen 2004). Its closest relative, Antiaris toxicaria, has a range that spans the paleotropics (Berg 1977). By comparison, M. insignis is much restricted in its distribution and poorly studied among African Moraceae.
Ecological studies on gene flow and population structure are essential toward the conservation of this endemic, threatened species. Habitat loss and fragmentation pose the greatest threat to the Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspot (Brooks et al. 2002), which represents the majority of M.insignis’ geographic distribution. Development of microsatellite markers will allow us to investigate the genetic diversity of this species and determine if its reproductive ecology and population structure have been impacted by forest fragmentation.
Details of 14 microsatellite loci isolated from Mesogyne insignis (Moraceae)
Primer sequence (5′–3′)
GenBank accession no.
Fourteen primer pairs (Table 1) were developed from an initial suite of 50 tested on 31 M.insignis individuals. Loci were selected on the basis of consistently clean peaks. Observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.000 to 0.733 and 0.063 to 0.845 respectively (Table 1). After applying a Bonferroni correction (Rice 1989), no significant disequilibrium linkage was detected between loci. However, Meso24 significantly departed from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (Table 1). The remaining 13 microsatellite markers will be used for future work investigating the genetic variability among fragmented and continuous forest populations of M. insignis. This will enhance conservation strategies for the preservation of this narrowly distributed species in Tanzania.
We developed microsatellites in the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution operated with support from the Pritzker Foundation. We thank Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), University of Dar es Salaam, Field Museum and Roosevelt University for support.