Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 43, Issue 3–4, pp 87–101 | Cite as

Genetic Variation Within and Among Populations of Rhodiola alsia (Crassulaceae) Native to the Tibetan Plateau as Detected by ISSR Markers

  • Tao Xia
  • Shilong ChenEmail author
  • Shengyun Chen
  • Xuejun Ge


Genetic variation of 10 Rhodiola alsia (Crassulaceae) populations from the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau of China was investigated using intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. R. alsia is an endemic species of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. Of the 100 primers screened, 13 were highly polymorphic. Using these primers, 140 discernible DNA fragments were generated with 112 (80%) being polymorphic, indicating pronounced genetic variation at the species level. Also there were high levels of polymorphism at the population level with the percentage of polymorphic bands (PPB) ranging from 63.4 to 88.6%. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that the genetic variation was mainly found among populations (70.3%) and variance within populations was 29.7%. The main factors responsible for the high level of differentiation among populations are probably the isolation from other populations and clonal propagation of this species. Occasional sexual reproduction might occur in order to maintain high levels of variation within populations. Environmental conditions could also influence population genetic structure as they occur in severe habitats. The strong genetic differentiation among populations in our study indicates that the conservation of genetic variability in R. alsia requires maintenance of as many populations as possible.


Rhodiola alsia ISSRs genetic variation population structure Qinghai–Tibet Plateau 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Xia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shilong Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shengyun Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xuejun Ge
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Qinghai–Tibet Biological Evolution and Adaptation, Northwest Plateau Institute of BiologyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.South China Institute of BotanyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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