Genetic Diversity in Marginal Populations of Nitraria schoberi L. from Romania

Ioana C. Paica, Cristian Banciu, Gabriel M. Maria, Mihnea Vladimirescu, Anca Manole
2022 Diversity  
Nitraria schoberi L. (Nitrariaceae) is a halophytic plant with a continuous range in Central Asia and with only two populations in the westernmost distribution limit of species, in Romania. Currently, there is no documented explanation for the species' presence in Europe, outside the main distribution area. Considering that marginal populations genetics are important in establishing range limits and species adaptative potential, genetic diversity was assessed using Inter-simple sequence repeat
more » ... arkers (ISSR). Both the Shannon's Information Index (I) and Expected Heterozygosity (He) suggested a relatively low level of genetic diversity within the two populations. However, the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA) dendrogram and Principal Coordinates Analysis clearly distinguished the two populations. Our presumptions, based on current results, are that the marginal westernmost population of N. schoberi was established due to the unique conditions from the "islands of desert" developed in a temperate continental climate. The European establishment of this species was likely accidental and probably due to ornithochory. Genetic relatedness between populations could be a consequence of their common origin, presumably from proximal Asian N. schoberi populations, while the separation can be explained by the lack of genetic material exchange between the two populations.
doi:10.3390/d14100882 fatcat:twm2shfokbccdp252agjslcjby