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Heredity (Edinb). 2008 Aug;101(2):166-74. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2008.42. Epub 2008 May 28.

Nucleotide variation in Quercus crispula Blume.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, Tarumi, Matsuyama, Japan.


Quercus is attractive for evolutionary studies, primarily for developing the concepts of the species, speciation and adaptation; however, remarkably little is known about levels of nucleotide polymorphism in the nuclear functional genes of this genus. This article provides the first characterization of levels of nucleotide polymorphism in 11 gene fragments in natural populations of a Quercus species, Quercus crispula Blume. Results show that the level of nucleotide variation in this oak is generally higher than that in conifers, as high as that in a European oak, but lower than that in an aspen. The level of population recombination is relatively high. Within-population inbreeding is negligible and between-population differentiation is modest. The decay of linkage disequilibrium is significantly faster in the species-wide samples and the three northernmost populations than in the other populations. Statistical tests support the hypothesis of a recent bottleneck for several populations in the southern part of Japan. The amounts and patterns of nucleotide variation, recombination and linkage disequilibrium, and genetic differentiation observed among populations of this species are contradictory to our expectations, given the recent colonization history of the northern Japan populations.

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