Low Levels of Allozyme Variability in the Threatened Species Antirrhinum subbaeticum and A. pertegasii (Scrophulariaceae): Implications for Conservation of the Species

ISABEL MATEU-ANDRÉS
2004 Annals of Botany  
Aims This study was designed to compare levels of genetic variation and its partitioning in three related species of Antirrhinum, A. subbaeticum, A. pertegasii and A. pulverulentum, and to check the hypothesis that species with small total population size have lower levels of genetic variability than those with bigger ones. This information should contribute to the development of conservation strategies of rare endemic species of Antirrhinum. Methods One hundred and seventy-seven plants were
more » ... eened for variability at 14 allozyme loci by means of horizontal starch gel. Parameters of genetic diversity, and its partitioning, were calculated. An indirect estimate of gene flow was based on the equation: Key Results Genetic variabilities in A. subbaeticum and A. pertegasii were found to be the lowest known for the genus, the within-population genetic diversity being correlated with population size in both species. The distribution of genetic diversity is strikingly different among species, with 85 % of the total variation distributed among populations in A. subbaeticum, 6 % in A. pertegasii and 23 % in A. pulverulentum. Estimated levels of gene flow were negligible for A. subbaeticum (0Á04), high for A. pertegasii (3Á92), and substantial for A. pulverulentum (0Á83). Genetic and geographic distances were negatively correlated in A. pertegasii, whereas no significant correlation was found in the other two species. Conclusions Levels of total genetic diversity agree with the hypothesis that species with small total population size have lower levels of genetic variability than those with bigger ones. Strategies for the conservation of the species are recommended, such as preservation of natural populations and avoidance of possible causes of threat, as well as ex situ preservation of seeds, reinforcement of small populations of A. subbaeticum with plants or seeds from the same population, and avoidance of translocations among populations. ª 2004 Annals of Botany Company
doi:10.1093/aob/mch204 pmid:15477232 pmcid:PMC4242271 fatcat:63qjwtfdqrdr5bmrmiabloluxa