Variation and genetic structure of Serratula lycopifolia populations (Vill.) Kern. (Asteraceae) in Poland and adjacent regions

Elżbieta Cieślak

Abstract


AFLPs were used to analyze the genetic variability of Serratula lycopifolia, one of the rarest plant species in Central and Western Europe, in six populations from the Wyżyna Małopolska upland (Poland), White Carpathian Mts (Slovakia and Czech Republic) and Podolian Upland (Ukraine). The results of polymorphism, PCoA and neighbor-net analyzes showed similar and relatively low genetic variation and high genetic similarity of individuals within each Polish population but there were differences between those populations. The population from Slovakia also showed comparatively high intrapopulation homogeneity and evident genetic separation from the other studied populations. Intrapopulation genetic variation was higher in the Czech and Ukrainian populations. However, AMOVA analyses revealed no significant differentiation at population and regional levels. The estimated low genetic diversity in the populations from Poland and Slovakia may be due to genetic processes such as genetic drift and inbreeding in local populations resulting from their low abundance, and does not seem characteristic of the species as a whole. These genetic analyzes make it clear that the Polish and Slovakian populations need support programmes to maintain their genetic variation. Measures should focus on increasing the number of individuals in the populations and on protecting their habitat.

Keywords


AFLP; genetic diversity; rare and threatened species; Serratula lycopifolia; Central Europe

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References


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