High genetic diversity and population differentiation in Boechera fecunda, a rare relative of Arabidopsis.
Conservation of endangered species becomes a critical issue with the increasing rates of extinction. In this study, we use 13 microsatellite loci and 27 single-copy nuclear loci to investigate the population genetics of Boechera fecunda, a rare relative of Arabidopsis thaliana, known from only 21 populations in Montana. We investigated levels of genetic diversity and population structure in comparison to its widespread congener, Boechera stricta, which shares similar life history and mating system. Despite its rarity, B. fecunda had levels of genetic diversity similar to B. stricta for both microsatellites and nucleotide polymorphism. Populations of B. fecunda are highly differentiated, with a majority of genetic diversity existing among populations (F(ST) = 0.57). Differences in molecular diversity and allele frequencies between western and eastern population groups suggest they experienced very different evolutionary histories.
Song, B-H; Mitchell-Olds, T
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