Spatial Structure and Population Genetic Variation in a Eucalypt Species Complex

Rachel King, Jane Hughes, University, My
In this study, the relative influences of selection, gene flow, and other evolutionary forces on the spatial structure of genetic variation within a eucalypt species complex (the spotted gums: genus Corymbia, section Politaria) were assessed. The study investigated the spatial genetic structure among four putative species of spotted gum (broad-scale), as well as within a single population (fine-scale)of one species, using both molecular and quantitative markers. The spotted gum complex occurs
more » ... um complex occurs naturally across a range of 2500 km in eastern Australia. Spatial genetic variation within and between the four putative spotted gum species was examined using both chloroplast and nuclear markers. No significant differentiation was found between the three northern species of the complex, C. citriodora, C. variegata and C. henryi. The southern species, C. maculata, shared no haplotypes with any of the three northern species. These results disagree in part with those reported in a previous allozyme based study in which C. henryi was found to be significantly divergent from C. variegata (with which it is sympatric) and more closely aligned with C. maculata. Re-analysis of the allozyme data provided evidence of selection acting at the PGM2 locus within populations of C. variegata and C. henryi. The exclusion of this locus from the data set led to concordance between the cpDNA and nDNA analyses. Restricted gene flow and evidence of isolation by distance were identified as the dominant processes influencing the contemporary distribution of the cpDNA haplotypes. No geographic structure of haplotypes was found and complex genealogical relationships between haplotypes indicated the combined effects of past fragmentation, range expansion and possible long distance dispersal events. The variation and spatial structure in both neutral molecular markers and quantitative genetic traits were compared to explore the relative influences of dispersal and selection within a single eucalypt population. Both mature trees (n=130) from a natural [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/1531 fatcat:zlmj647ap5blzlj6qufcum4thu