Genetic diversity and population structure of the rare species Artemisia hololeuca detected by AFLP analysis

A.M. Kudryavtsev, A.A. Trifonova
Genetic diversity is an important parameter determining adaptation of species to changing environmental conditions. Therefore, knowledge of genetic diversity is important for developing conservation strategies for rare and endangered plant species. Genetic diversity of rare plant species Artemisia hololeuca was investigated for the first time. 89 samples of A. hololeuca from 13 populations collected in the Volgograd region (Russia) were analyzed using the AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) technique. High level of A. hololeuca intraspecific polymorphism (88.79%) was detected. However, indices of intrapopulation genetic diversity were lower: the polymorphism level varied from 18.8 to 39.5%; the effective number of alleles - from 1.090 to 1.268; the Shannon's diversity index - from 0.087 to 0.223; the expected heterozygosity - from 0.056 to 0.152. The among-population genetic differentiation index (Gst) was 0.516. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that 43% of total genetic variation accounts to interpopulation polymorphism. The highest value of Nei's genetic distance coefficient (0.251) was noted for geographically remote populations, the lowest value (0.023) - for geographically close populations. The Mantel test showed a high correlation between geographical and genetic distances (R2=0.520, p=0.01). Principal coordinates analysis showed that A. hololeuca populations are divided into three groups, mainly due to their geographical location. High level of differentiation may be due to the predominantly vegetative reproduction of A. hololeuca and its habitats (bedrock dense layers of chalk) which have a local distribution. The obtained data should be taken into account when developing a program for A. hololeuca conservation.
Kudryavtsev, A.M. and Trifonova, A.A. (2021). Genetic diversity and population structure of the rare species Artemisia hololeuca detected by AFLP analysis. Acta Hortic. 1324, 291-296
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1324.45
genetic variability, rare and endangered species, conservation

Acta Horticulturae