Publication Title: 
Kitamura, et al. (2020)
Geographical gradients of genetic diversity and differentiation among the southernmost marginal populations of Abies sachalinensis revealed by EST-SSR polymorphism
Kitamura, Keiko
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Research Highlights: We detected the longitudinal gradients of genetic diversity parameters, such as the number of alleles, effective number of alleles, heterozygosity, and inbreeding coefficient, and found that these might be attributable to climatic conditions, such as temperature and snow depth. Background and Objectives: Genetic diversity among local populations of a plant species at its distributional margin has long been of interest in ecological genetics. Populations at the distribution center grow well in favorable conditions, but those at the range margins are exposed to unfavorable environments, and the environmental conditions at establishment sites might reflect the genetic diversity of local populations. This is known as the central-marginal hypothesis in which marginal populations show lower genetic variation and higher differentiation than do central populations. In addition, genetic variation in a local population is influenced by phylogenetic constraints and the population history of selection under environmental constraints. In this study, we investigated this hypothesis in relation to Abies sachalinensis, a major conifer species in Hokkaido. Materials and methods: A total of 1,189 trees from 25 natural populations were analyzed using 19 EST-SSR loci. Results: The eastern populations; namely, those in the species distribution center, showed greater genetic diversity than did the western peripheral populations. Another important finding is that the southwestern marginal populations were highly differentiated from the other populations. Conclusions: These differences might be due to genetic drift in the small and isolated populations at the range margin. Therefore, our results indicated that the central-marginal hypothesis held true for the southernmost A. sachalinensis populations in Hokkaido.
Publication Species: 
Abies sachalinensis (Sachalin Fir)
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