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Geographic patterns of genetic variation in native pecans

Grauke, L. J., Mendoza-Herrera, Maria Azucena, Miller, Allison J., Wood, Bruce. W.
Tree genetics & genomes 2011 v.7 no.5 pp. 917-932
Carya illinoinensis, genetic variation, germplasm, latitude, loci, microsatellite repeats, pecans, pollen, population structure, seedlings, seeds, trees
A structured collection of 80 seedling pecan trees [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch], representing 19 putatively native pecan populations across the species range, was evaluated at three plastid and 14 nuclear microsatellite (simple sequence repeat, SSR) loci. Data were analyzed using a priori population designations and also within a Bayesian framework, in which individuals were assigned to clusters regardless of population of origin. Population genetic analyses using a priori populations, clusters based on chloroplast microsatellite data (cpSSR), and clusters based on nuclear microsatellite data (nSSR) yielded consistent results. For all groupings, cpSSR variation exhibited more geographic structure than the nSSR data. Furthermore, cpSSR microsatellite diversity decreased with increasing latitude, but this pattern was not observed with the nuclear data. Contrasting patterns in plastid and nuclear genetic diversity demonstrate unique aspects of postglacial recolonization reflected in the movement of seeds versus pollen. These data suggest that plastid SSRs are useful tools for identifying population structure in pecan and hold promise for ongoing efforts to identify and conserve representative germplasm in ex situ collections.