Research Article

Genetic diversity in three natural populations of Pitcairnia flammea (l.) John (Bromeliaceae) estimated by ISSR markers

Published: December 03, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 15892-15901 DOI: 10.4238/2015.December.3.1

Abstract

Bromeliads are greatly represented in the Atlantic Forest, although many species are threatened with extinction owing to habitat fragmentation and intense extraction for ornamental purposes. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct studies generating knowledge about genetic diversity and the distribution of this diversity among and within natural populations to establish conservation strategies. These studies can be performed with the use of molecular markers. Molecular markers are advantageous for studies of natural populations, for conservation programs, and to aid in properly classifying plant species. This study aimed to evaluate the genetic diversity among and within natural populations of Pitcairnia flammea, occurring in three fragments of the Atlantic Forest in the southern State of Espírito Santo through the use of inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. DNA samples from 55 individuals were amplified with 18 ISSR primers, generating 180 bands, 159 of which were polymorphic. The Shannon genetic diversity index ranged from 0.348 to 0.465, with an average of 0.412. The Bayesian approach for the molecular data indicated the existence of two genetic groups. Analysis of molecular variance indicated the existence of 90.3% diversity within the population and 9.74% among populations. The amount of genetic differentiation of populations was moderate (0.0974), indicating that gene flow rates may be enough to counteract the effects of genetic drift. Greater genetic variability found in population B indicates that this area is an important source of genetic variability.

Bromeliads are greatly represented in the Atlantic Forest, although many species are threatened with extinction owing to habitat fragmentation and intense extraction for ornamental purposes. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct studies generating knowledge about genetic diversity and the distribution of this diversity among and within natural populations to establish conservation strategies. These studies can be performed with the use of molecular markers. Molecular markers are advantageous for studies of natural populations, for conservation programs, and to aid in properly classifying plant species. This study aimed to evaluate the genetic diversity among and within natural populations of Pitcairnia flammea, occurring in three fragments of the Atlantic Forest in the southern State of Espírito Santo through the use of inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. DNA samples from 55 individuals were amplified with 18 ISSR primers, generating 180 bands, 159 of which were polymorphic. The Shannon genetic diversity index ranged from 0.348 to 0.465, with an average of 0.412. The Bayesian approach for the molecular data indicated the existence of two genetic groups. Analysis of molecular variance indicated the existence of 90.3% diversity within the population and 9.74% among populations. The amount of genetic differentiation of populations was moderate (0.0974), indicating that gene flow rates may be enough to counteract the effects of genetic drift. Greater genetic variability found in population B indicates that this area is an important source of genetic variability.