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Population history in Arabidopsis halleri using multilocus analysis


Andrew Heidel, Fax: +49 3641 656255; E-mail;


A. halleri is a psuedometallophyte with a patchy distribution in Europe and is often spread by human activity. To determine the population history and whether this history is consistent with potential human effects, we surveyed nucleotide variation using 24 loci from 12 individuals in a large A. halleri population. The means of total and silent nucleotide variation (θW) are within the range expected for the species. The population genetic neutrality tests Tajima’s D and Wall’s B had significant composite results rejecting panmixia, and Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis revealed that a subdivision model better explained the variation than the standard neutral model, refugia (or admixture), bottleneck or change of population size models. A categorical regression analysis further supports the subdivision model, and under the subdivision model, the neutrality tests are no longer significant. The best support was for two source populations, a situation consistent with the mixing of two populations possibly mediated by human activity. This scenario might limit the genetic diversity and adaptive potential of the population. The non-neutral population variation described here should be considered in bioinformatic searches for adaptation.