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Genetic diversity and gene flow in the endangered dwarf bear poppy, Arctomecon humilis (Papaveraceae).

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Botany
0002-9122
Publisher
Botanical Society of America
Publication Date
Volume
85
Issue
9
Pages
1251–1261
Identifiers
PMID: 21685011
Source
Medline

Abstract

Arctomecon humilis is a critically endangered species endemic to the Moenkopi shale of Washington County, Utah. Recovery plans for the species would be improved by an understanding of genetic diversity and gene flow among its remaining populations. Ten variable isozyme loci were used to calculate genetic diversity statistics for study populations. Westerly populations possessed higher levels of genetic variability than other populations at the same isozyme loci. Three of the populations exhibited significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. No correlation existed between genetic distance and geographic distance. Most of the genetic diversity was distributed among populations with little gene flow between populations, suggesting that observed genetic differences may arise from genetic drift. For the westerly populations, similar genotypes were observed in the seedling and old age classes, while intermediate age classes typically possessed an alternate set of genotypes at Pgi-2. Mean heterozygosity increased with age class across populations. Westerly populations of A. humilis shared more alleles with the nearest geographic population of A. californica than other populations. Since the westerly populations contained more genetic variability and more alleles in common with a near relative, they may be relictual. Other populations may contain less genetic diversity due to founder effects and/or genetic drift.

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