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Biochem Genet. 2012 Feb;50(1-2):146-58. doi: 10.1007/s10528-011-9488-7. Epub 2012 Jan 1.

Genetic structure within and among populations of Saruma henryi, an endangered plant endemic to China.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China (Ministry of Education), College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, 229 Northern Taibai Road, Xi'an, 710069, Shaanxi Province, China.


The endangered perennial plant Saruma henryi Oliv. is endemic to China and has phylogenetic, ecological, and medicinal value. We used 10 microsatellite (SSR) loci to investigate genetic diversity and differentiation in 16 natural populations. Genetic diversity was high at the species level (H(E) = 0.9427, h = 0.9410, I = 3.0213) and low at the population level (H(E) = 0.4441, h = 0.4307, I = 0.6822). Pronounced genetic differentiation was detected among populations (G(ST) = 0.5428, F(ST) = 0.5524), in line with the limited among-population gene flow (Nm = 0.21). The significant isolation-by-distance pattern revealed by a Mantel test (r = 0.311, P = 0.001) suggested a clear geographic tendency in the distribution of genetic variability. Bayesian assignment and principal coordinates analyses supported the clustering of 16 populations into three groups. The present SSR results were also compared with previously published ISSR results. These results have significant implications for conservation of the species.

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