Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 14:21 | Cite as

Low genetic differentiation among altitudes in wild Camellia oleifera, a subtropical evergreen hexaploid plant

  • Xiaomao Huang
  • Jiaming Chen
  • Xiaoqiang Yang
  • Shihua Duan
  • Chuan Long
  • Gang Ge
  • Jun Rong
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Germplasm Diversity


Camellia oleifera is a subtropical evergreen plant. Cultivated C. oleifera is the most important woody oil crop in China. Wild C. oleifera is an essential genetic resource for breeding. The patterns of genetic differentiation among altitudes/latitudes in wild C. oleifera are still unknown. Camellia oleifera may be predominantly hexaploid. The characteristics of polyploidy may lead to considerable biases in estimates of genetic diversity and differentiation. Our study used C. oleifera as a case study for analysing genetic diversity, structure and differentiation in polyploid plants using simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Wild C. oleifera samples were collected at different altitudes on the Jinggang and Lu mountains of China. The ploidy levels were determined with flow cytometry analysis. Eight highly polymorphic SSRs were used to genotype the samples. Genetic diversity and structure were analysed. Various estimates of genetic differentiation were compared. The flow cytometry results indicated that wild C. oleifera samples were all hexaploid at various altitudes of the Jinggang and Lu mountains. High levels of genetic diversity were found on both the Jinggang and Lu mountains. Genetic structure analyses indicated clear genetic differentiation between the Jinggang and Lu mountains and lower genetic differentiation among altitudes within each mountain. Classical genetic differentiation estimates of Fst failed to discriminate genetic differentiation between and within mountains. The Rho statistic showed a moderate level of genetic differentiation between mountains and lower levels of genetic differentiation within each mountain. Our study demonstrates that Rho is the statistic of choice for estimating genetic differentiation in polyploids.


Camellia oleifera Genetic differentiation Genetic diversity Genetic structure Polyploid Simple sequence repeat 



We thank Dr. Patrick G. Meirmans for suggestions for the data analyses.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC Grant No. 31460072) and the “Gan-Po Talent 555” Project of Jiangxi Province, China.

Compliance with ethical standards

Data archiving statement

The SSR primers used in the study are available in Table 1.

Supplementary material

11295_2018_1234_Fig6_ESM.gif (13 kb)
Fig. S1.

PCoA of wild C. oleifera from Jinggang Mountain. Principal coordinate analysis was performed using POLYSAT version 1.4 (Clark and Jasieniuk 2011). Genetic distances between samples were calculated using Bruvo distance (Bruvo et al. 2004). Green circles indicate samples from YT (304-377 m altitude). Red circles represent samples from SZY (790-839 m altitude). Blue circles represent samples from CP (821-978 m altitude). (GIF 13 kb).

11295_2018_1234_MOESM1_ESM.tif (139 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 138 kb).
11295_2018_1234_Fig7_ESM.gif (16 kb)
Fig. S2.

PCoA of wild C. oleifera from Lu Mountain. Principal coordinate analysis was performed using POLYSAT version 1.4 (Clark and Jasieniuk 2011). Genetic distances between samples were calculated using Bruvo distance (Bruvo et al. 2004). Red circles represent samples from low altitudes (182-252 m). Green circles represent samples from middle altitudes (262-398 m). Blue circles represent samples from relatively high altitudes (450-821 m). (GIF 15 kb).

11295_2018_1234_MOESM2_ESM.tif (173 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 173 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM3_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Table S1. (DOCX 20 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM4_ESM.doc (37 kb)
Table S2. (DOC 37 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM5_ESM.doc (38 kb)
Table S3. (DOC 37.5 kb).
11295_2018_1234_MOESM6_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Table S4. (DOC 36.5 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Watershed Ecology, Institute of Life Science and School of Life SciencesNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Environment and Resource Utilization, Ministry of EducationNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesJinggangshan UniversityJi’anChina
  4. 4.Jinggangshan National Nature Reserve Administration BureauJinggangshanChina

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