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Genetic and morphological diversity in Cousinia tabrisiana (Asteraceae) populations

Minaeifar, Amir Abbas, Sheidai, Masoud, Attar, Farideh, Noormohammadi, Zahra, Ghasemzadeh-Baraki, Bahar
Biologia 2015 v.70 no.3 pp. 328-338
Asteraceae, Astragalus, analysis of variance, biodiversity, environmental factors, gene flow, genetic distance, genetic variation, human population, loci, microsatellite repeats, population growth, Central Asia, Iran
Cousinia Cass. is one of the largest genuses in the Asteraceae. It contains 600 to 700 species in Southwest and Central Asia, in Iran with 270 species is the largest genus after Astragalus, Cousinia probably is unique in the degree of diversification of all its parts and definitely unique in the restricted distribution area of a high number of species. Some of Cousinia species have medicinal value. Perhaps the most important biological challenge today is the conservation of biodiversity. As human population increases, so does the need for natural resources and space for the growing population. In this investigation eighty-seven plant specimens of 8 geographical populations of Cousinia tabrisiana Bunge. were studied from morphological and genetic (ISSR) points of view. Both intra and inter-population morphological and genetic variability was observed in the studied populations. ANOVA and CVA tests revealed significant morphological difference among these populations. Similarly, AMOVA and Hickory tests revealed significant molecular difference among geographical populations. Mantel test produced significant positive correlation between genetic distance and geographical distance of the studied populations. Networking, STRUCTURE analysis and population assignment test revealed some degree of gene flow among these populations. LMFF test identified some of the ISSR loci to be correlated with environmental factors studied and consensus tree of morphological and genetic data identified divergent populations.