Comparative genetic structure in pines: evolutionary and conservation consequences

P Delgado, Argelia Cuenca Navarro, AE Escalante, F Molina-Freaner, D Pinero

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Pines have been the focus of several studies that estimate population genetic parameters using both allozymes and chloroplast single sequence repeats (SSRs). Also, the genus has also been recently studied using molecular systematics so that we now have a more clear understanding of their evolutionary history. With this background we studied comparatively the genetic structure in pines. Expected heterozygosity is particularly constant with a 99 % confidence interval between 0.19 and 0.23 in species that have been studied until now using allozymes. There is a significant proportion of species (9/41) that show high population differentiation estimates (F-ST =or larger than 0.15) and five of these have large and wingless seeds probably associated with low densities, bird dispersal mechanisms and resistance to water stress. These species include the North American pinyon pines. Outcrossing rates are also constant among species from both subgenus Pinus and subgenus Strobits, which probably reflects a selective limit to the amount of deleterious alleles that can be maintained in pine species and this also affects inbreeding levels. We also explored the data published using microsatellites in pines and conclude that these markers uncover a higher proportion of variation and genetic differentiation as expected and that the evolutionary models that are used to derive the population genetic structure estimators should take into account other sources of mutation (point mutations, larger insertions and or deletions and duplications) to better understand the comparative applications of these molecular markers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista Chilena De Historia Natural
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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