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Genetic structure in the paleoendemic and endangered Petagnaea gussonei (Spreng.) Rauschert (Saniculoideae, Apiaceae) and implications for its conservation

  • Autori: DE CASTRO, O.; Sepe, F.; DI MAIO, A.; Cennamo, P.; DE LUCA, P.; Gianguzzi, L.; Menale, B.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: AFLP, Conservation, CpSSR, Genetic structure, Petagnaea gussonei, Paleoendemic, Seed/pollen flow, Sicily
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Our investigation aims to understand the genetic structure and evolutionary history of Petagnaea gussonei, an ancient and endangered species belonging to the Saniculoideae subfamily (Apiaceae). It is paleoendemic to Sicily, with a small number of populations in the Nebrodi Mountains. A total of seven chloroplast microsatellite repeat loci and 12 AFLP primer combinations were used to screen 115 individuals corresponding to 17 populations. The ratio of seed to pollen flow was also calculated using the modified Ennos equation. A relatively high level of genetic diversity was detected with AFLPs (e.g., 0.045\H\0.278), and a moderate variation was also found using cpSSRs (0\Hk\0.667). Two different haplotypes (B and W) were identified, with five populations being monomorphic for haplotype B. There was no genetic differentiation on the basis of haplotypic frequency (GST) and similarity (RST), and no phylogeographic structure was detected among the populations. AFLP values also confirmed that the populations are not very genetically differentiated. The principal component analysis based on pairwise genetic differences showed three groupings without a geographical correlation. The AMOVA analysis indicates that theamount of variation is higher within populations (82 %) than among populations (18 %). Results of the pollen flow/seed flow ratio indicated positive values for each population, indicating that gene flow by seed is not more efficient than by pollen. Instead, the total pollen/seed flow for all population presents a negative value, suggesting that pollen dispersal does not appear to be more effective over the long range for gene flow than seed dispersal. This differentiation level supports the hypothesis that the fragmentation and isolation of the residual populations is in progress. This phenomenon is due not only to post-ice age climate changes, but also to direct and indirect anthropic actions.