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Keywords:

  • chloroplast DNA simple sequence repeats;
  • haplotypic diversity;
  • mitochondrial DNA nad1 intron sequence;
  • phylogeography;
  • tandem repeats

Abstract

We studied the phylogenetic relationships among the three stone pine species, Pinus cembra, P. sibirica, and P. pumila, using chloroplast microsatellites and mitochondrial nad1 intron 2 sequences. The three chloroplast microsatellite loci combined into a total of 18 haplotypes. Fourteen haplotypes were detected in 15 populations of P. cembra and one population of P. sibirica, five of which were shared between the two species, and the two populations of P. pumila comprised four species-specific haplotypes. Mitochondrial intron sequences confirmed this grouping of species. Sequences of P. cembra and P. sibirica were identical, but P. pumila differed by several nucleotide substitutions and insertions/deletions. A repeat region found in the former two species showed no intraspecific variation. These results indicate a relatively recent evolutionary separation of P. cembra and P. sibirica, despite their currently disjunct distributions. The species-specific chloroplast and mitochondrial markers of P. sibirica and P. pumila should help to trace the hybridization in their overlapping distribution area and to identify fossil remains with respect to the still unresolved postglacial re-colonization history of these two species.