High genetic diversity in a remote island population system: Sans sex

Journal Article

• It has been proposed that long-distance dispersal of mosses to the Hawaiian Islands rarely occurs and that the Hawaiian population of the allopolyploid peat moss Sphagnum palustre probably resulted from a single dispersal event. • Here, we used microsatellites to investigate whether the Hawaiian population of the dioicous S. palustre had a single founder and to compare its genetic diversity to that found in populations of S. palustre in other regions. • The genetic diversity of the Hawaiian population is comparable to that of larger population systems. Several lines of evidence, including a lack of sporophytes and an apparently restricted natural distribution, suggest that sexual reproduction is absent in the Hawaiian plants. In addition, all samples of Hawaiian S. palustre share a genetic trait rare in other populations. Time to most recent ancestor (TMRCA) analysis indicates that the Hawaiian population was probably founded 49-51kyr ago. • It appears that all Hawaiian plants of S. palustre descend from a single founder via vegetative propagation. The long-term viability of this clonal population coupled with the development of significant genetic diversity suggests that vegetative propagation in a moss does not necessarily preclude evolutionary success in the long term. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Karlin, EF; Hotchkiss, SC; Boles, SB; Stenøien, HK; Hassel, K; Flatberg, KI; Shaw, AJ

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 193 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1088 - 1097

PubMed ID

  • 22188609

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-646X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03999.x