Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 302, Issue 6, pp 721–730 | Cite as

Microsatellite markers reveal common East Alpine–Carpathian gene pool for the arctic–alpine Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae)

  • Zsuzsanna GyörgyEmail author
  • José F. Vouillamoz
  • Mária Höhn
Original Article


Rhodiola rosea L. is an arctic–alpine perennial species. Genetic structure and relationships of 16 populations from the high mountains of Europe have been characterized by the use of microsatellite markers. Mean expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.73, ranging from 0.51 to 0.74 in the populations studied. The genetic relationships among the populations revealed by both UPGMA and STRUCTURE analysis showed a clear clustering of the five Swiss Alps populations being well separated from all other populations. Next to these—also forming a distinct cluster—the populations from the Pyrenees were located. Another cluster contained the admixed group of individuals from Alpine and Carpathian populations including the Tatras. Norwegian samples were sister to the Alpine–Carpathian group and interestingly, the population from the Italian Dolomites showed a clearly distinct position. AMOVA revealed that the vast majority of the molecular variance was attributed to within-population variability (85 %) while only 11 % was among population variation, and 4 % among region variation. The weak genetic differentiation observed between the Eastern Alpine and Carpathian populations supports the existence of a former common glacial refugium and a shared history between the two regions.


Arctic–alpine species Biogeography Genetic diversity Glacial refugium Microsatellites Roseroot 



This study was financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA 83728) and the National Development Agency (TÁMOP-4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005 and TÁMOP-4.2.2/B-10/1-2010-0023). Zsuzsanna György is grateful for the Award for Research Excellence of Corvinus University of Budapest and the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zsuzsanna György
    • 1
    Email author
  • José F. Vouillamoz
    • 2
  • Mária Höhn
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Plant BreedingSzent István EgyetemBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPSContheySwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of BotanySzent István EgyetemBudapestHungary

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