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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 16, 1994; 91(17): 8127–8131.

Contrasting the distribution of chloroplast DNA and allozyme polymorphism among local populations of Silene alba: implications for studies of gene flow in plants.


The distribution of chloroplast DNA (cp-DNA) length variants was analyzed within and among 10 local populations of Silene alba, a dioecious angiosperm. The populations displayed considerable allele frequency variation, resulting in an estimate of Wright's Fst of 0.67 over a 25 x 25 km portion of the species' range. By contrast, a concurrent analysis of the genetic structure of these same populations based on seven polymorphic allozyme loci yielded an estimate of Fst of 0.13. The two Fst estimates are significantly different from one another when their respective confidence limits are estimated by jackknifing. The results of a breeding study were consistent with maternal inheritance of the cpDNA variants. With maternal inheritance the genetic structure of the cpDNA should reflect seed movement, whereas the genetic structure of the nuclear-encoded allozyme loci should reflect the movement of both seeds and pollen. Comparison of the two markedly different Fst estimates in the context of recent models of the population genetics of organelles suggests that the movement of both seeds and pollen contributes significantly to gene flow.

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Selected References

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