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A. R. Ruschel, R. O. Nodari and B. M. Moerschbacher
To analyse possible genetic erosion due to fragmentation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest ecosystem, we investigated the genetic diversity within and among one large and six small populations of one of the key species of this ecosystem, Sorocea bonplandii, using AFLP analyses of 468 plants. Eight primer pairs yielded 299 polymorphic fragments for analysis. S. bonplandii was characterized by an unusually high genetic diversity within the species and also within individual populations, around 94% of the total genetic diversity occurred within populations. Genetic distances between populations were low in spite of extensive fragmentation. Genetic distance was significantly correlated with geographical distances between fragments, but these differences may have existed before fragmentation. Our results have direct implications for sustainable management of S. bonplandii, indicating that conservation strategies might be based on a random sample of trees taken throughout the Atlantic forest. However, the minimum population size required for maintaining the huge genetic diversity of this species is unknown. In order to establish a sustainable management plan for the species, further ecological studies are needed.
A. Verga and H.-R. Gregorius
The biological units that are the object of management, preservation and improvement for the development of sustainable productive systems in natural areas, need to be differentiated and analyzed. Attending to this need, a new morphological distance is presented in this work. This distance is based on qualitative criteria and is applied to numerical taxonomy studies. The characteristics of this trait allow its comparison with the genetic distance of GREGORIUS (1974). Both parameters are essential tools in basic studies of native species populations. The morphological distance is applied to reveal genetically differentiated units in a swarm of hybrids between closely related species, and this result is compared with the results obtained from the application of traditional methods of numerical taxonomy.
Shaneka S. Lawson and Aziz Ebrahimi
Koa (Acacia koa) and sub-species koaia (A. koaia) are two of more than 1,200 species from the genus Acacia within the Leguminosae (also designated Fabaceae) family. In the past, koa and koaia forests were found throughout the Hawaiian archipelago but populations have dramatically decreased. Comprehensive analyses of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) have not been published previously. Here we use genome sequencing and bioinformatics tools to report development of 100,000+ nuclear SSR (nuSSR) markers for use in koa and koaia genome studies with transcriptome SSR information was included for comparison. Over 10,000 high-value SSRs (40-60 % GC content) were isolated with 3,600+ further validated by ePCR. SSRs generated in this work can assist current efforts to sustainably increase in koa and koaia populations.
I. Hebel, R. Haas and Aikaterini Dounavi
The genetic structure of 14 populations from three ash provenance regions (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in southern Germany (Aid Infodienst, 2003) is described by analysing the variation of four nuclear and five cpDNA microsatellites. The study of the nuclear microsatellites revealed high levels of genetic diversity but low levels of genetic differentiation, suggesting a high degree of gene flow among regions and/or human interference by introducing plant material coming from different provenances. The distributions of the allele frequencies and the genetic structures at these four microsatellite loci did not allow the identification of distinct provenance regions, although “private alleles” were encountered with moderate to low frequencies (above 5 percent). Specifically, the Rhine valley populations (provenance region 81105) and these from the Swabian Jura and Black Forest (provenance region 81107) revealed private alleles at the two microsatellite loci Femsatl4 and Femsatl12. A more distinct differentiation between provenances was found based on the cpDNA markers. Evidence on genetic delineation and characterization of ash provenances is discussed. Based on these results, provenance regions can be genetically characterised but further analysis of ash populations and of reproductive material (seeds or seedlings) would be of great importance for provenance delineation, as well as gene conservation and sustainable management of ash populations.
D. Lompo, B. Vinceti, H. Gaisberger, H. Konrad, J. Duminil, M. Ouedraogo, S. Sina and T. Geburek
The medicinal and food tree species Parkia biglobosa (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) is widespread in the Sudanian savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, where it has a strong socio-cultural and economic importance. Populations of this species are highly threatened in large parts of its range due to overexploitation and environmental degradation. In the light of climatic changes, safeguarding the genetic diversity of the species is crucial to foster adaptation and to support its long-term survival. Genetic insight is also relevant to guide sustainable harvesting. This paper has the objective to review information on the species’ geographic distribution, reproductive biology, genetic characteristics and existing conservation practices, and to identify knowledge gaps to orientate future conservation and research focus. The literature review revealed that the species is mainly outcrossed and is pollinated by a diversity of vectors, including bats that allow long-pollen dispersal. When bats are absent, pollination is mainly carried out by honey bees and stingless bees and in such case pollen-mediated gene flow is relatively restricted. Data of a large-scale genetic study based on allozyme markers showing a moderate genetic differentiation among populations were reanalyzed using an inverse distance weighted interpolation function. Three distinctive regions of diversity based on allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were identified. Finally, we discuss future challenges for genetic conservation by emphasizing the need to use both neutral and adaptive markers in future research.