Research Article

Genetic variability of an endangered Bromeliaceae species (Pitcairnia albiflos) from the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

Published: October 13, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4) : 2482-2491 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2011.October.13.5
Cite this Article:
(2011). Genetic variability of an endangered Bromeliaceae species (Pitcairnia albiflos) from the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. Genet. Mol. Res. 10(4): gmr1284. https://doi.org/10.4238/2011.October.13.5
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Abstract

Pitcairnia albiflos is a Bromeliaceae species endemic to Brazil that has been included as data-deficient in the extinction risk list of Brazilian flora. We analyzed genetic variability in P. albiflos populations using RAPD markers to investigate population structure and reproductive mechanisms and also to evaluate the actual extinction risk level of this species. Leaves of 56 individuals of P. albiflos from three populations were collected: Urca Hill (UH, 20 individuals), Chacrinha State Park (CSP, 24 individuals) and Tijuca National Park (TNP, 12 individuals). The RAPD technique was effective in characterizing the genetic diversity in the P. albiflos populations since it was possible to differentiate the populations and to identify exclusive bands for at least two of them. Even if there is low genetic diversity among them (CSP-UH = 0.463; CSP-TNP = 0.440; UH-TNP = 0.524), the populations seem to be isolated according to the low genetic diversity observed within them (Hpop CSP = 0.060; Hpop UH = 0.042; Hpop TNP = 0.130). This fact might be the result of clonal and self-reproduction predominance and also from environmental degradation around the collection areas. Consequently, it would be important to protect all populations both in situ and ex situ to prevent the decrease of genetic variability. The low genetic variability among individuals of the same population confirms the inclusion of this species as critically endangered in the risk list for Brazilian flora.

Pitcairnia albiflos is a Bromeliaceae species endemic to Brazil that has been included as data-deficient in the extinction risk list of Brazilian flora. We analyzed genetic variability in P. albiflos populations using RAPD markers to investigate population structure and reproductive mechanisms and also to evaluate the actual extinction risk level of this species. Leaves of 56 individuals of P. albiflos from three populations were collected: Urca Hill (UH, 20 individuals), Chacrinha State Park (CSP, 24 individuals) and Tijuca National Park (TNP, 12 individuals). The RAPD technique was effective in characterizing the genetic diversity in the P. albiflos populations since it was possible to differentiate the populations and to identify exclusive bands for at least two of them. Even if there is low genetic diversity among them (CSP-UH = 0.463; CSP-TNP = 0.440; UH-TNP = 0.524), the populations seem to be isolated according to the low genetic diversity observed within them (Hpop CSP = 0.060; Hpop UH = 0.042; Hpop TNP = 0.130). This fact might be the result of clonal and self-reproduction predominance and also from environmental degradation around the collection areas. Consequently, it would be important to protect all populations both in situ and ex situ to prevent the decrease of genetic variability. The low genetic variability among individuals of the same population confirms the inclusion of this species as critically endangered in the risk list for Brazilian flora.