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Allozyme, chloroplast DNA and RAPD markers for determining genetic relationships between Abies alba and the relic population of Abies nebrodensis


Allozyme, chloroplast (cpDNA) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers have been used to estimate genetic and taxonomic relationships among different populations of Abies alba and the relic population of A. nebrodensis. Twelve isozyme gene loci, as well as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) at cpDNA spacer regions between t-RNA genes were analysed. Moreover, a set of 60 random sequence 10-mer primers were tested. Over all isozyme loci, evident differences in allele frequencies among A. nebrodensis and A. alba populations were found, particularly at 2 loci, phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi-a) and shikimate dehydrogenase (Skd-a). More than 10% of the total genetic diversity was due to differences among populations. High values of genetic distances among populations were also found. Out of the 60 primers tested, 12 resulted in a polymorphic banding pattern both within and among populations. A total of 84 RAPD fragments were produced by the 12 selected primers. A phenogram of relationships among populations was constructed based on RAPD band sharing: the differentiation of the A. nebrodensis population was evident. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was used to apportion the variation among individuals within populations and among populations. There was considerable variation within each population: even so, genetic divergence was found among populations. This pattern of genetic variation was very different from that reported for inbred species. Identical cpDNA amplification and restriction patterns were observed among all the individuals sampled from the populations. Taken together, the results of allozyme and RAPDs show a clear differentiation among A. nebrodensis and A. alba populations and provide support for their classification into two different taxonomic groups.

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Vicario, F., Vendramin, G.G., Rossi, P. et al. Allozyme, chloroplast DNA and RAPD markers for determining genetic relationships between Abies alba and the relic population of Abies nebrodensis . Theoret. Appl. Genetics 90, 1012–1018 (1995).

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Key words

  • Allozymes
  • Chloroplast DNA
  • RAPD
  • Genetic variation
  • Abies