Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 14:21 | Cite as

Low genetic differentiation among altitudes in wild Camellia oleifera, a subtropical evergreen hexaploid plant

Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Germplasm Diversity


Camellia oleifera is a subtropical evergreen plant. Cultivated C. oleifera is the most important woody oil crop in China. Wild C. oleifera is an essential genetic resource for breeding. The patterns of genetic differentiation among altitudes/latitudes in wild C. oleifera are still unknown. Camellia oleifera may be predominantly hexaploid. The characteristics of polyploidy may lead to considerable biases in estimates of genetic diversity and differentiation. Our study used C. oleifera as a case study for analysing genetic diversity, structure and differentiation in polyploid plants using simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Wild C. oleifera samples were collected at different altitudes on the Jinggang and Lu mountains of China. The ploidy levels were determined with flow cytometry analysis. Eight highly polymorphic SSRs were used to genotype the samples. Genetic diversity and structure were analysed. Various estimates of genetic differentiation were compared. The flow cytometry results indicated that wild C. oleifera samples were all hexaploid at various altitudes of the Jinggang and Lu mountains. High levels of genetic diversity were found on both the Jinggang and Lu mountains. Genetic structure analyses indicated clear genetic differentiation between the Jinggang and Lu mountains and lower genetic differentiation among altitudes within each mountain. Classical genetic differentiation estimates of Fst failed to discriminate genetic differentiation between and within mountains. The Rho statistic showed a moderate level of genetic differentiation between mountains and lower levels of genetic differentiation within each mountain. Our study demonstrates that Rho is the statistic of choice for estimating genetic differentiation in polyploids.


Camellia oleifera Genetic differentiation Genetic diversity Genetic structure Polyploid Simple sequence repeat 



We thank Dr. Patrick G. Meirmans for suggestions for the data analyses.

Compliance with ethical standards

Data archiving statement

The SSR primers used in the study are available in Table 1.

Supplementary material

11295_2018_1234_Fig6_ESM.gif (13 kb)
Fig. S1.

PCoA of wild C. oleifera from Jinggang Mountain. Principal coordinate analysis was performed using POLYSAT version 1.4 (Clark and Jasieniuk 2011). Genetic distances between samples were calculated using Bruvo distance (Bruvo et al. 2004). Green circles indicate samples from YT (304-377 m altitude). Red circles represent samples from SZY (790-839 m altitude). Blue circles represent samples from CP (821-978 m altitude). (GIF 13 kb).

11295_2018_1234_MOESM1_ESM.tif (139 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 138 kb).
11295_2018_1234_Fig7_ESM.gif (16 kb)
Fig. S2.

PCoA of wild C. oleifera from Lu Mountain. Principal coordinate analysis was performed using POLYSAT version 1.4 (Clark and Jasieniuk 2011). Genetic distances between samples were calculated using Bruvo distance (Bruvo et al. 2004). Red circles represent samples from low altitudes (182-252 m). Green circles represent samples from middle altitudes (262-398 m). Blue circles represent samples from relatively high altitudes (450-821 m). (GIF 15 kb).

11295_2018_1234_MOESM2_ESM.tif (173 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 173 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM3_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Table S1. (DOCX 20 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM4_ESM.doc (37 kb)
Table S2. (DOC 37 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM5_ESM.doc (38 kb)
Table S3. (DOC 37.5 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM6_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Table S4. (DOC 36.5 kb).


  1. Ackerman WL (1971) Genetic and cytological studies with Camellia and related genera. Technical bulletin no. 1427, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberto FJ, Derory J, Boury C, Frigerio J-M, Zimmermann NE, Kremer A (2013) Imprints of natural selection along environmental gradients in phenology-related genes of Quercus petraea. Genetics 195(2):495–512. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruvo R, Michiels NK, TG D’S, Schulenburg H (2004) A simple method for the calculation of microsatellite genotype distances irrespective of ploidy level. Mol Ecol 13(7):2101–2106. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark LV (2016) Assigning alleles to isoloci in polysatGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark LV, Jasieniuk M (2011) POLYSAT: an R package for polyploid microsatellite analysis. Mol Ecol Resour 11(3):562–566. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Dufresne F, Stift M, Vergilino R, Mable BK (2014) Recent progress and challenges in population genetics of polyploid organisms: an overview of current state-of-the-art molecular and statistical tools. Mol Ecol 23(1):40–69. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Earl DA, vonHoldt BM (2012) STRUCTURE HARVESTER: a website and program for visualizing STRUCTURE output and implementing the Evanno method. Conserv Genet Resour 4(2):359–361. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freeland JR, Kirk H, Petersen SD (2011) Genetic analysis of single populations. In: Molecular ecology, Second edn. Wiley, Chichester, pp 77–128. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hedrick PW (2005) A standardized genetic differentiation measure. Evolution 59(8):1633–1638. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang H, Tong Y, Zhang QJ, Gao LZ (2013) Genome size variation among and within Camellia species by using flow cytometric analysis. PLoS One 8(5):e64981. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Jakobsson M, Rosenberg NA (2007) CLUMPP: a cluster matching and permutation program for dealing with label switching and multimodality in analysis of population structure. Bioinformatics 23(14):1801–1806. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Jost L (2008) G ST and its relatives do not measure differentiation. Mol Ecol 17(18):4015–4026. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jump AS, Mátyás C, Peñuelas J (2009) The altitude-for-latitude disparity in the range retractions of woody species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:694–701CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Ma J, Ye H, Rui Y, Chen G, Zhang N (2011) Fatty acid composition of Camellia oleifera oil. J Verbr Lebensm 6:9–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maksylewicz A, Baranski R (2013) Intra-population genetic diversity of cultivated carrot (Daucus carota L.) assessed by analysis of microsatellite markers. Acta Biochim Pol 60(4):753–760PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Meirmans PG (2006) Using the AMOVA framework to estimate a standardized genetic differentiation measure. Evolution 60(11):2399–2402. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Meirmans PG, Hedrick PW (2011) Assessing population structure: F ST and related measures. Mol Ecol Resour 11(1):5–18. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Meirmans PG, Van Tienderen PH (2004) GENOTYPE and GENODIVE: two programs for the analysis of genetic diversity of asexual organisms. Mol Ecol Notes 4(4):792–794. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Meirmans P, Van Tienderen P (2013) The effects of inheritance in tetraploids on genetic diversity and population divergence. Heredity 110(2):131–137. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Michalakis Y, Excoffier L (1996) A generic estimation of population subdivision using distances between alleles with special reference for microsatellite loci. Genetics 142(3):1061–1064PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Ming TL (2000) Monograph of the genus Camellia. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, KunmingGoogle Scholar
  22. Pritchard JK, Stephens M, Donnelly P (2000) Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data. Genetics 155:945–959PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Ronfort J, Jenczewski E, Bataillon T, Rousset F (1998) Analysis of population structure in autotetraploid species. Genetics 150(2):921–930PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Rong J, Janson S, Umehara M, Ono M, Vrieling K (2010) Historical and contemporary gene dispersal in wild carrot (Daucus carota ssp. carota) populations. Ann Bot 106:285–296CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Rosenberg NA (2004) DISTRUCT: a program for the graphical display of population structure. Mol Ecol Notes 4:137–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shi M-M, Michalski SG, Chen X-Y, Durka W (2011) Isolation by elevation: genetic structure at neutral and putatively non-neutral loci in a dominant tree of subtropical forests, Castanopsis eyrei. PLoS One 6(6):e21302. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Smouse PE, Peakall R (1999) Spatial autocorrelation analysis of individual multiallele and multilocus genetic structure. Heredity 82(5):561–573. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Vranckx G, Jacquemyn H, Muys B, Honnay O (2011) Meta-analysis of susceptibility of woody plants to loss of genetic diversity through habitat fragmentation. Conserv Biol 26:228–237CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Xiao Z, Zhang Z, Wang Y (2004) Impacts of scatter-hoarding rodents on restoration of oil tea Camellia oleifera in a fragmented forest. For Ecol Manag 196:405–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhao Y, Vrieling K, Liao H, Xiao M, Zhu Y, Rong J, Zhang W, Wang Y, Yang J, Chen J, Song Z (2013) Are habitat fragmentation, local adaptation and isolation-by-distance driving population divergence in wild rice Oryza rufipogon? Mol Ecol 22(22):5531–5547. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Zhuang RL (2008) C. oleifera in China, 2nd edn. China Forestry Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Watershed Ecology, Institute of Life Science and School of Life SciencesNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Environment and Resource Utilization, Ministry of EducationNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesJinggangshan UniversityJi’anChina
  4. 4.Jinggangshan National Nature Reserve Administration BureauJinggangshanChina

Personalised recommendations