Journal article

Analysis of nuclear microsatellites reveals limited differentiation between Colchic and Hyrcanian populations of the wind-pollinated relict tree Zelkova carpinifolia (Ulmaceae)

  • Maharramova, Elmira H. Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany - Institute of Botany, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan -
  • Safarov, Hajiaga M. Hirkan National Park, Lankaran, Azerbaijan
  • Kozlowski, Gregor Department of Biology and Botanic Garden, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Natural History Museum, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Borsch, Thomas Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany - Institut für Biologie–Botanik, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Muller, Ludo A. Institut für Biologie–Botanik, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
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Published in:
  • American Journal of Botany. - 2015, vol. 102, no. 1, p. 119–128
English Premise of the study: The Caucasus represents one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and includes the climatic refugia Hyrcan on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and Colchis on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, where different species survived during the Quaternary climatic oscillations. We evaluated the genetic diversity of the relict tree Zelkova carpinifolia shared between the two refugia and distributed throughout the Caucasus and adjacent areas.Methods: Specimens were collected from 30 geographical sites in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey and screened for variability at eight nuclear microsatellite loci. The genetic diversity among and within populations was assessed using a set of statistical measures.Key results: We detected 379 different genotypes from a total of 495 individuals with varying degrees of clonal reproduction at the different sites. Low to intermediate levels of genetic diversity were observed at all sites, and strong differentiation between sampling sites was absent. In addition, we observed no clear genetic differentiation between the Colchis and Hyrcan. Bayesian clustering of the genotypes revealed three populations with high levels of admixture between the sampling sites.Conclusions: The lack of strong genetic structure of studied populations of Z. carpinifolia contrasts with a previous study based on chloroplast markers and suggests that long-distance pollen dispersal is an important factor of gene flow among populations of Z. carpinifolia. The present study does not reveal any particular site with particularly isolated genotypes that would deserve more attention for conservation purposes than others, although some sites should be considered for further investigation.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Biologie
  • English
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