Research Article

Genetic diversity and structure of native and non-native populations of the endangered plant Pinus dabeshanensis

Published: June 10, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7937 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027937

Abstract

Owing to a severe decline in its abundance, Pinus dabeshanensis has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Although several restoration events have been undertaken since the 1960s, the natural population genetic structure of this species remains to be investigated. Herein, we examined the level of genetic diversity and structure of two native and two non-native populations using 10 microsatellite loci. A relatively high level of genetic variation (HO = 0.586 ± 0.039) and a low level of population differentiation (FST = 0.016 ± 0.011) were revealed. For forensic investigation, an assignment test was performed. To better understand the genetic differentiation between the native and non-native populations, the individuals in the transplanted and cultivated populations may have derived from populations that were not surveyed in this study. In light of our results, we discuss the real problems faced by all four populations and provide useful information for management decision-making.

Owing to a severe decline in its abundance, Pinus dabeshanensis has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Although several restoration events have been undertaken since the 1960s, the natural population genetic structure of this species remains to be investigated. Herein, we examined the level of genetic diversity and structure of two native and two non-native populations using 10 microsatellite loci. A relatively high level of genetic variation (HO = 0.586 ± 0.039) and a low level of population differentiation (FST = 0.016 ± 0.011) were revealed. For forensic investigation, an assignment test was performed. To better understand the genetic differentiation between the native and non-native populations, the individuals in the transplanted and cultivated populations may have derived from populations that were not surveyed in this study. In light of our results, we discuss the real problems faced by all four populations and provide useful information for management decision-making.