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Genetic diversity in natural populations of Castanea mollissima inferred from nuclear SSR markers

Author(s): Hua Tian | Ming Kang | Li Li | Xiaohong Yao | Hongwen Huang

Journal: Biodiversity Science
ISSN 1005-0094

Volume: 17;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 296;
Date: 2009;

Keywords: Castanea mollissima | germplasm | microsatellite | genetic diversity | population structure

Genetic diversity and population structure of 28 natural populations of Castanea mollissima were investigated by using microsatellite markers. A total of 128 alleles were identified in 849 individuals across the eight microsatellites analysed, with a mean value of 16 alleles per locus. The mean expected heterozygosity (HE) and observed heterozygosity (HO) across all populations were 0.678 and 0.590, respectively, and a higher level of diversity was found in populations from central China (A = 8.112, HE = 0.705, HO = 0.618)than those from other three regions (eastern, southwestern and northwestern China). Indices of genetic differentiation based on stepwise mutation model (SMM) and infinite allele model (IAM) were RST = 0.208 and FST = 0.120, respectively. No significant association between genetic distance and geographic distance was detected by Mantel test, suggesting gene flow is not a dominant factor shaping genetic structure of the species. The central China, particularly the area around the Shengnongjia Mountains, can be recognized as a modern center of genetic diversity of C. mollissima. Thus, natural populations of the species in this region deserve prior conservation and utilization for breeding programmes.
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