Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 203–209 | Cite as

Polymorphic nuclear markers for coastal plant species with dynamic geographic distributions, the rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum) and the vulnerable dune pansy (Viola tricolor subsp. curtisii)

  • Mathilde Latron
  • Jean-François Arnaud
  • Héloïse Ferla
  • Cécile Godé
  • Anne Duputié
Short Communication


Identifying spatial patterns of genetic differentiation across a species range is critical to set up conservation and restoration decision-making. This is especially timely, since global change triggers shifts in species’ geographic distribution and in the geographical variation of mating system and patterns of genetic differentiation, with varying consequences at the trailing and leading edges of a species’ distribution. Using 454 pyrosequencing, we developed nuclear microsatellite loci for two plant species showing a strictly coastal geographical distribution and contrasting range dynamics: the expanding rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum, 21 loci) and the highly endangered and receding dune pansy (Viola tricolor subsp. curtisii, 12 loci). Population genetic structure was then assessed by genotyping more than 100 individuals from four populations of each of the two target species. Rock samphire displayed high levels of genetic differentiation (FST = 0.38), and a genetic structure typical of a mostly selfing species (FIS ranging from 0.16 to 0.58). Populations of dune pansy showed a less pronounced level of population structuring (FST = 0.25) and a genotypic structure more suggestive of a mixed-mating system when excluding two loci with heterozygote excess. These results demonstrate that the genetic markers developed here are useful to assess the mating system of populations of these two species. They will be tools of choice to investigate phylogeographical patterns and variation in mating system over the geographical distribution ranges for two coastal plant species that are subject to dynamic evolution due to rapid contemporary global change.


Gene flow Geographic range shifts Global change Nuclear microsatellites Plant mating system Population genetic structure 



We wish to thank Vincent Comor, Chloé Ponitzki and Eric Schmitt for help in collecting populations. This work was funded by the “Région Nord–Pas-de-Calais” (AREOLAIRE project). This work was also supported by a PhD fellowship from the French Research Ministry and from the “Région Nord–Pas-de-Calais” (AREOLAIRE project) to Mathilde Latron. This work is also a contribution to the CPER research project CLIMIBIO. The authors thank the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, the Hauts de France Regional Council and the European Regional Development Fund for their financial support to this project.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Lille, CNRS, UMR 8198 – Evo-Eco-PaleoLilleFrance

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