Biodiversity Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 97-108.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13135

Special Issue: From Genome to Diversity

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Pollen dispersal analysis using DNA markers

Wei Zhou1, 2, Hong Wang1, *()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204
    2. Germplasm Bank of Wild Species in Southwest China, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204
  • Received:2013-06-06 Accepted:2013-10-09 Online:2014-02-10
  • Wang Hong E-mail:wanghong@mail.kib.ac.cn

Modes of pollen dispersal are important for plant ecology, conservation, and evolutionary biology as pollen-mediated gene flow connects one generation of sexually-reproducing plants to the next. With the development of DNA molecular techniques, molecular markers (especially microsatellite markers) have replaced traditional physical markers for pollen flow analysis. Methods of paternity assignment with maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference have greatly improved the estimation of pollen flow characteristics with regard to direction, distance, and strength. Pollen dispersal curves have been characterized by single parameter, two-parameter, multi-parameter, and two-component composite models to better evaluate the shape of dispersal distributions. These innovative techniques and methods have been successfully applied to assess pollination patterns in studies of plant sexual polymorphism, population connectivity, and natural hybridization, which, in turn, have provided important insights into basic theories of evolution, ecology, and conservation. In the coming years, high-throughput sequencing technologies are expected to accelerate the application of molecular marker-based pollen flow analysis across a wide range of plant taxa.

Key words: molecular marker, gene flow, pollen dispersal, parentage analysis, paternity assignment, dispersal kernel, next-generation sequencing

Fig. 1

The forward physical and backward genetic marker for pollen dispersal analysis"

Fig. 2

Example of curves and the characters of tail for the different pollen dispersal models. Single parameter: normal distribution model, exponential distribution model; Two parameters: exponential power distribution model and Weibull distribution model."

Fig. 3

The pollen flow analysis at three levels: pollen flow between sexual morphs, between populations, and between hybrid species"

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