Research Article

Population structure and genetic variation of the endangered species Elaeagnus mollis Diels (Elaeagnaceae)

Published: June 01, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (2) : 5950-5957 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.June.1.12
Cite this Article:
(2015). Population structure and genetic variation of the endangered species Elaeagnus mollis Diels (Elaeagnaceae). Genet. Mol. Res. 14(2): gmr5290. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.June.1.12
1,244 views

Abstract

Elaeagnus mollis Diels is a group of shrubs and dwarf trees endemic to China and are endangered plants. However, the reason why these plants are endangered remains controversial. The current study aimed to explore the endangered status of E. mollis from a genetic perspective and to propose conservation strategies for this species. Using 16 polymorphic allozyme loci, the population genetic structure was investigated for three populations representing the taxa and variants. The variants exhibited relatively high levels of genetic variation compared to other woody shrubs with similar geographic distributions. The overall genetic diversity (HE = 0.352) was elevated compared to long-lived woody angiosperms. The average number of alleles per locus (A), percentage polymorphic loci (P), and observed heterozygosity (HO) were 2.0, 85.2, and 0.371, respectively. Furthermore, gene flow estimates within the population groups were also elevated. The life history and habitats of E. mollis play major roles in the levels of genetic diversity. The results of this study may help to device strategies for preserving the genetic diversity of E. mollis and for promoting planting.

Elaeagnus mollis Diels is a group of shrubs and dwarf trees endemic to China and are endangered plants. However, the reason why these plants are endangered remains controversial. The current study aimed to explore the endangered status of E. mollis from a genetic perspective and to propose conservation strategies for this species. Using 16 polymorphic allozyme loci, the population genetic structure was investigated for three populations representing the taxa and variants. The variants exhibited relatively high levels of genetic variation compared to other woody shrubs with similar geographic distributions. The overall genetic diversity (HE = 0.352) was elevated compared to long-lived woody angiosperms. The average number of alleles per locus (A), percentage polymorphic loci (P), and observed heterozygosity (HO) were 2.0, 85.2, and 0.371, respectively. Furthermore, gene flow estimates within the population groups were also elevated. The life history and habitats of E. mollis play major roles in the levels of genetic diversity. The results of this study may help to device strategies for preserving the genetic diversity of E. mollis and for promoting planting.

About the Authors