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Genetics. Dec 1998; 150(4): 1605–1614.
PMCID: PMC1460421

Abundant mitochondrial genome diversity, population differentiation and convergent evolution in pines.


We examined mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms via the analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms in three closely related species of pines from western North America: knobcone (Pinus attenuata Lemm.), Monterey (P. radiata D. Don), and bishop (P. muricata D. Don). A total of 343 trees derived from 13 populations were analyzed using 13 homologous mitochondrial gene probes amplified from three species by polymerase chain reaction. Twenty-eight distinct mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected and no common haplotypes were found among the species. All three species showed limited variability within populations, but strong differentiation among populations. Based on haplotype frequencies, genetic diversity within populations (HS) averaged 0.22, and population differentiation (GST and theta) exceeded 0.78. Analysis of molecular variance also revealed that >90% of the variation resided among populations. For the purposes of genetic conservation and breeding programs, species and populations could be readily distinguished by unique haplotypes, often using the combination of only a few probes. Neighbor-joining phenograms, however, strongly disagreed with those based on allozymes, chloroplast DNA, and morphological traits. Thus, despite its diagnostic haplotypes, the genome appears to evolve via the rearrangement of multiple, convergent subgenomic domains.

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Selected References

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