J Syst Evol ›› 2009, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (2): 103-109.DOI: 10.1111/j.1759-6831.2009.00008.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Low genetic diversity and high genetic differentiation in the critically endangered Omphalogramma souliei (Primulaceae): implications for its conservation

Yuan HUANG 1 Chang-Qin ZHANG 1 De-Zhu LI*1   

  1. 1 ( Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, China ) *Author for correspondence. E-mail: dzl@mail.kib.ac.cn; Tel.: +86-871-5223503; Fax: +86-871-5217791.
  • Received:2008-07-04 Published:2009-04-02

Abstract: Omphalogramma souliei Franch. is an endangered perennial herb only distributed in alpine areas of SW China. ISSR markers were applied to determine the genetic variation and genetic structure of 60 individuals of three populations of O. souliei in NW Yunnan, China. The genetic diversity at the species level is low with P=42.5% (percentage of polymorphic bands) and Hsp=0.1762 (total genetic diversity). However, a high level of genetic differentiation among populations was detected based on different measures (Nei's genetic diversity analysis: Gst=0.6038; AMOVA analysis: Fst=0.6797). Low level of genetic diversity within populations and significant genetic differentiation among populations might be due to the mixed mating system in which xenogamy predominated and autogamy played an assistant role in O. souliei. The genetic drift due to small population size and limited current gene flow also resulted in significant genetic differentiation. The assessment of genetic variation and differentiation of the endangered species provides important information for conservation on a genetic basis. Conservation strategies for this rare endemic species are proposed.

Key words: genetic differentiation, genetic diversity, ISSR markers, mating system, Omphalogramma souliei.