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Highly structured nucleotide variation within and among Arabidopsis lyrata populations at the FAH1 and DFR gene regions


Montserrat Aguadé, Fax: +34 93 4034420; E-mail:


Nucleotide variation at the FAH1 and DFR gene regions was surveyed in four populations of Arabidopsis lyrata (two European A. l. petraea and two North American A. l. lyrata populations). In contrast to previous results, levels of variation were not consistently lower in A. l. lyrata than in A. l. petraea, and similar degrees of genetic differentiation were detected between and within subspecies. These observations and the significant genetic differentiation detected among populations suggest population substructure and no real subdivision between subspecies. For each gene studied, genotypic data were obtained, which allowed comparing nucleotide diversity within individuals (between sequences from the same individual) and within populations (between sequences from the same population). The generally lower level of variation within than among individuals detected in each population yielded a significant deviation from panmixia within populations. In three of the four populations studied, two highly divergent alleles were detected within populations at the highly variable DFR locus. This pattern and the significant excess of derived variants detected in most populations suggest that most variation segregating within populations results from rare migration events between relatively small and isolated populations exhibiting reduced panmixia.

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