Research Article

Genetic variation in wild populations of the tuber crop Amorphophallus konjac (Araceae) in central China as revealed by AFLP markers

Published: December 29, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 18753-18763 DOI: 10.4238/2015.December.28.24

Abstract

Amorphophallus konjac is an economically important crop. In order to provide baseline information for sustainable development and conservation of the wild plant resources of A. konjac, we studied the genetic diversity and population structure of this species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. We sampled 139 individuals from 10 wild populations of A. konjac in central China. Using five AFLP primer combinations, we scored a total of 270 DNA fragments, most of which were polymorphic (98.2%). Percentage of polymorphic loci, Nei’s genetic diversity index, and Shannon’s information index showed high levels of genetic variation within A. konjac populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that most of the variance (68%) resided within populations. The coefficient of genetic differentiation between populations was 0.348 and the estimated gene flow was 0.469, indicating that there was limited gene flow among the populations. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis and principal coordinates analysis indicated that geographically close populations were more likely to cluster together. The Mantel test revealed a significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (R2 = 0.2521, P A. konjac and the complex geography of central China are likely to have contributed to the current pattern of genetic variation of this species. In the present study, we provide several suggestions on the future protection of the wild plant genetic resources of A. konjac.

Amorphophallus konjac is an economically important crop. In order to provide baseline information for sustainable development and conservation of the wild plant resources of A. konjac, we studied the genetic diversity and population structure of this species using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. We sampled 139 individuals from 10 wild populations of A. konjac in central China. Using five AFLP primer combinations, we scored a total of 270 DNA fragments, most of which were polymorphic (98.2%). Percentage of polymorphic loci, Nei’s genetic diversity index, and Shannon’s information index showed high levels of genetic variation within A. konjac populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that most of the variance (68%) resided within populations. The coefficient of genetic differentiation between populations was 0.348 and the estimated gene flow was 0.469, indicating that there was limited gene flow among the populations. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis and principal coordinates analysis indicated that geographically close populations were more likely to cluster together. The Mantel test revealed a significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (R2 = 0.2521, P < 0.05). The special insect-pollination system of A. konjac and the complex geography of central China are likely to have contributed to the current pattern of genetic variation of this species. In the present study, we provide several suggestions on the future protection of the wild plant genetic resources of A. konjac.

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