Biodiversity Science ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 296-302.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.09043

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

Hua Tian1, 3, Ming Kang1, 2, Li Li1, 3, Xiaohong Yao1, Hongwen Huang1, 2*   

  1. 1 Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074
    2 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    3 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2009-02-23 Revised:2009-04-04 Online:2009-05-20

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 heterozygos-ity (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 dif-ferentiation 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 spe-cies. 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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