The herbaceous vine, twisted birthwort Aristolochia contorta Bunge, is a rare species listed in the Red Data Book of Primorsky krai (2008). On the northern boundary of its range (south of the Russian Far East), the species is represented by small isolated populations confined to the river drainages. Using allozyme analysis, genetic variation of nine natural populations of A. contorta (247 accessions), which represented the main part of the species range in Russia, was examined. The values of genetic variation indices (P = 22.7%; A = 1.28; H o = 0.129; H e = 0.101) were low and comparable with the data obtained for other rare plants. The proportion of unique genotypes (G/N) and Simpson’s genotypic diversity index (D) ranged from 0.32 to 0.64 and from 0.60 to 0.98, respectively. This means that A. contorta is characterized by sexual and asexual reproduction. Moreover, the ratio between these types of reproduction varied among the populations. Complete absence of inbreeding and excess of heterozygotes (F IS = −0.282), which was low probable in case of free mating, was observed. Evidently, clonal growth and (or) apomixis enables the species to maintain certain level of heterozygosity despite of small population sizes and non-regular gene exchange.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2012
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