Gossypium mustelinum, one of five tetraploid species in the cotton genus, is geographically restricted to a few states in NE Brazil. Allozyme analysis was used to assess levels and patterns of genetic diversity inG. mustelinum and its relationship to the other tetraploid species. Genetic variation was low, with only 6 of 50 loci examined being polymorphic, a mean of 1.14 alleles per locus and a mean panmictic heterozygosity of 0.08. These estimates are low relative to other tetraploid cotton species, but are typical of island endemics. Interpopulational genetic identities were uniformly high, lending support to the concept of there being only one wild species of Brazilian cotton. The limited allelic diversity observed was correlated with geographical distribution, although variability is so limited in the species that geographically marginal populations are electrophoretically ordinary. Phylogenetic and phenetic analyses demonstrate thatG. mustelinum is isolated among polyploid cotton species, occupying one of the three basal clades resulting from an early radiation of polyploid taxa subsequent to polyploid formation. We suggest thatG. mustelinum represents a paleoendemic that presently exists as a series of widely scattered, relictual populations. Despite several centuries of sympatric cultivation ofG. barbadense andG. hirsutum, there was little evidence of interspecific introgression of alleles from cultivated cottons intoG. mustelinum.
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Wendel, J.F., Rowley, R. & Stewart, J.M. Genetic diversity in and phylogenetic relationships of the Brazilian endemic cotton,Gossypium mustelinum (Malvaceae). Pl Syst Evol 192, 49–59 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00985907
- genetic diversity
- Flora of Brazil