Using AFLP analysis, the genetic variation in four population samples of Rhododendron ledebourii, three such samples of Rh. dauricum, two samples of Rh. sichotense, and one sample of Rh. mucronulatum was examined. Application of three selective primer pairs provided genotyping of 87 accessions from the four species at 213 loci. An analysis of molecular variance revealed a high level of differences between all four species (F ST = 0.172). Populations within the species were also differentiated: for Rh. dauricum F ST = 0.245; Rh. ledebourii F ST = 0.264; Rh. sichotense F ST = 0.034. The highest Nei distance was observed for Rh. mucronulatum with Rh. dauricum and Rh. ledebourii (D = 0.057 and 0.069, respectively). Similarity was observed between the species pairs of Rh. ledebourii-Rh. dauricum (0.032) and Rh. sichotense-Rh. mucronulatum (0.034). The Far Eastern species Rh. sichotense and Rh. mucronulatum were characterized by an elevated level of intrapopulation variation. The data from the AFLP-based analysis of differentiation and variation that were thus obtained were compared with the literature data on the morphological criteria that differentiate the species of interest and those regarding the history of the formation of their ranges. The independence of all the species we examined was confirmed.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2012
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