Spatial genetic structure among and within populations of Primula sieboldii growing beside separate streams

Authors

  • N. KITAMOTO,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8572, Japan,
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  • M. HONJO,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8572, Japan,
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  • S. UENO,

    1. Genome Analysis Laboratory, Department of Forest Genetics, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba 305–8687, Japan,
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  • A. TAKENAKA,

    1. Environmental Biology Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba 305–0053, Japan,
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  • Y. TSUMURA,

    1. Genome Analysis Laboratory, Department of Forest Genetics, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba 305–8687, Japan,
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  • I. WASHITANI,

    1. Laboratory of Conservation Ecology, Department of Ecosystem Studies, Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 311–8657, Japan
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  • R. OHSAWA

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8572, Japan,
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Ryo Ohsawa, Fax: + 81-29-853-6674; E-mail: osawaryo@sakura.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp

Abstract

We investigated the hierarchical genetic structure of SSR (simple sequence repeats) and cpDNA (chloroplast DNA) polymorphisms among and within populations of Primula sieboldii, a heterostylous clonal herb. Seven out of eight populations at the study site, located in a mountainous region of Nagano Prefecture, had each developed alongside a different stream, and the other occurred on a flat area 70 m from the nearest stream. The magnitude of genetic differentiation among streamside populations in maternally inherited cpDNA (Φ = 0.341) was much higher than that in biparentally inherited SSRs (Φ = 0.011). This result suggests that seed dispersal among streams was restricted, and pollen was the primary agent of gene flow among streamside populations. In contrast, genetic differentiation among subpopulations within streams were low at both markers (Φ = 0.053 for cpDNA, Φ = 0.025 for SSR). This low differentiation among subpopulations in cpDNA compared with that among streamside populations suggest that seed dispersal occur along the stream probably during flooding. This hypothesis was supported by the fact that in cpDNA haplotypes, no clear genetic structure was detected within the streamside population, while a significant genetic structure was found within 20 m in the nonstreamside population. Furthermore, within the streamside populations, two pairs of ramets with identical multilocus genotypes for eight SSR loci were distantly (> 50 m) distributed along the same streamside, suggesting dispersal of clonal propagule. Our study showed that the heterogeneity of the landscape can influence gene flow and hence spatial genetic structure.

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