Genetic and morphological diversity in Tragopogon graminifolius DC. (Asteraceae) in Iran
Tragopogon graminifolius DC. is a medicinal plant species of the genus Tragopogon L. (Asteraceae) that grows in different regions of Iran and is extensively used by locals. There is no report on genetic variability and population structure of this important plant species. Therefore, we studied the genetic diversity, population structure and morphological variability of 14 geographical populations of Tragopogon graminifolius in Iran. AMOVA and Gst analyses revealed significant molecular differences among the studied populations. Mantel test showed significant correlation between genetic distance and geographical distance of the studied populations and indicated that the neighboring populations had a higher degree of gene flow. STRUCTURE plot identified three main gene pools for Tragopogon graminifolius in Iran and population assignment test revealed that gene flow occurred mostly among populations of the same gene flow. The studied populations differed significantly in their morphological and genetic features. These results may be of use for future conservation of this important plant species.
Keywordsgenetic diversity gene flow isolation by distance population structure Tragopogon graminifolius
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