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Conservation Genetics

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 1043–1050 | Cite as

Genetic diversity and structure in the rare Colorado endemic plant Physaria bellii Mulligan (Brassicaceae)

  • Linda Kothera
  • Christopher M. Richards
  • Shanna E. Carney
Original Paper

Abstract

Physaria bellii (Brassicaceae) is a rare, outcrossing perennial endemic to shale and sandstone outcrops along the Front Range of northern Colorado, USA. This species is locally abundant, but ranked G2/S2—imperiled because of threats to its habitat and a small number of populations—according to NatureServe’s standardized ranking system. Leaf tissue from ten populations was analyzed with ISSR (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat) markers to discern the amount of genetic diversity and degree of population subdivision in P. bellii. Genetic diversity was moderate (0.22) and a moderately high degree of population structure was found (F ST calculated using two algorithms ranged from 0.17 to 0.24). An AMOVA partitioned most of the variation among individuals within populations (76%), and the remainder among populations (24%). Results from a Principal Coordinates analysis were consistent with the geographic distribution of populations. A Mantel test of the correlation between genetic and geographic distances was highly significant (P < 0.001). The pattern of variation thus appears to be distributed along a gradient, and efforts to conserve this species should involve preserving enough populations so that gene flow between populations is not interrupted.

Keywords

ISSR Physaria Naturally rare plant Dominant markers 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants to LK from the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Small Grants Program and the Colorado Native Plant Society’s Steinkamp Fund, and start up funds to SEC. Lynn Riedel from OSMP, the staff of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Meegan Fleniken from the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands department, Claire DeLeo of the Boulder County Open Space Department and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas department are gratefully acknowledged for providing location information and/or permits to work with Physaria bellii.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Kothera
    • 1
    • 3
  • Christopher M. Richards
    • 2
  • Shanna E. Carney
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources PreservationFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Division of Vector-Borne Infectious DiseasesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionFort CollinsUSA

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