This work was part of Shannon Straub’s dissertation research in Jeff Doyle’s lab at Cornell University. Shannon Straub is interested in plant population genetics, molecular systematics of the legume genus Amorpha and the conservation and restoration genetics of rare Amorpha species. Jeff Doyle is interested in the systematics, comparative genomics, and functional genomics of polyploidy, primarily in the legume family, and is also interested in the evolution of nitrogen fixing symbioses in legumes, and in gene family evolution.
Conservation genetics of Amorpha georgiana (Fabaceae), an endangered legume of the Southeastern United States
Article first published online: 18 SEP 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 18, Issue 21, pages 4349–4365, November 2009
How to Cite
STRAUB, S. C. K. and DOYLE, J. J. (2009), Conservation genetics of Amorpha georgiana (Fabaceae), an endangered legume of the Southeastern United States. Molecular Ecology, 18: 4349–4365. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04353.x
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 18 SEP 2009
- Received 15 June 2009; revision accepted 12 August 2009
- Amorpha georgiana;
- conservation genetics;
- population structure
Amorpha georgiana (Fabaceae) is an endangered legume species found in longleaf pine savannas in the Southeastern United States. Approximately 900 individuals and 14 populations remain, most of which are concentrated in North Carolina. Eleven microsatellite loci were used to explore genetic diversity, population structure and recent population bottlenecks using genotypic data from 132 individuals collected at ten different localities. Although A. georgiana is quite rare, it exhibited high levels of genetic diversity (17.7 alleles/locus; Ho = 0.65, HE = 0.75). Most of the genetic variation was found within rather than between populations of this species. The single remaining Georgia population was well differentiated from populations of the Carolinas (FST > 0.1), which had weaker structure among them (FST < 0.1). Only a geographically disjunct population showed strong evidence of a recent population bottleneck, perhaps due to a recent founder event. Hybridization with A. herbacea was also detected. For conservation management plans, A. georgiana populations in each geographic region (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) plus a disjunct population in North Carolina (Holly Shelter) should be treated as separate management units for which in situ conservation, including habitat restoration and use of prescribed burns, should ensure persistence of this species and preservation of its evolutionary potential.