DNA fingerprinting supports notions of clonality in a rare mallee, Eucalyptus argutifolia


  • This paper is part of a larger study investigating the genetic system of the rare mallee Eucalyptus argutifolia. Jason Kennington and Michelle Waycott are PhD students at The University of Western Australia. Jason is investigating the effects of inbreeding in small populations. Michelle has been using molecular markers to investigate the dynamics of seagrass populations. Sid James is an Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia. Sid is an evolutionary cytogeneticist and has had a long interest in the genetic systems of Australian native plants.

Fax: +61-9-380-1001. E-mail: wjkenn@uniwa.uwa.edu.au.


DNA fingerprinting was used to test for genetic variation within putative clones of Eucalyptus argutifolia, a rare multistemmed (mallee) species endemic to Western Australia. Hybridization of the M13 repeat sequence to HaeIII digested DNA samples was able to discriminate between seedlings from the same maternal plant, demonstrating the capability of this probe in detecting different individuals of this species. Each of the putative clones yielded a unique banding pattern, but no variation was found within clones. These results are consistent with the notion of clonality in E. argutifolia and reaffirm that populations are likely to contain considerably fewer individuals than originally anticipated.