Evolutionary implications of allozyme and RAPD variation in diploid populations of dioecious buffalograss Buchloë dactyloides

R. PEAKALL, P. E. SMOUSE, David Robert Huff

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336 Scopus citations


Buffalograss, Buchloë dactyloides, is widely distributed throughout the Great Plains of North America, where it is an important species for rangeland forage and soil conservation. The species consists of two widespread polyploid races, with narrowly endemic diploid populations known from two regions: central Mexico and Gulf Coast Texas. We describe and compare the patterns of allozyme and RAPD variation in the two diploid races, using a set of 48 individuals from Texas and Mexico (four population samples of 12 individuals each). Twelve of 22 allozyme loci were polymorphic, exhibiting 35 alleles, while seven 10‐mer RAPD primers revealed 98 polymorphic bands. Strong regional differences were detected in the extent of allozyme polymorphism: Mexican populations exhibited more internal gene diversity (He= 0.20, 0.19) than did the Texan populations (He= 0.08, 0.06), although the number of RAPD bands in Texas (n= 62) was only marginally smaller than in Mexico (n= 68). F‐statistics for the allozyme data, averaged over loci, revealed strong regional differentiation (mean FRT=+ 0.30), as well as some differentiation among populations within regions (mean FPR=+ 0.09). In order to describe and compare the partitioning of genetic variation for multiple allozyme and RAPD loci, we performed an Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA). AMOVA for both allozyme and RAPD data revealed similar qualitative patterns: large regional differences and smaller (but significant) population differences within regions. RAPDs revealed greater variation among regions (58.4% of total variance) than allozymes (45.2%), but less variation among individuals within populations (31.9% for RAPDs vs. 45.2% for allozymes); the proportion of genetic variance among populations within regions was similar (9.7% for RAPDs vs. 9.6% for allozymes). Despite this large‐scale concordance of allozyme and RAPD variation patterns, multiple correlation Mantel techniques revealed that the correlations were low on an individual by individual basis. Our findings of strong regional differences among the diploid races will facilitate further study of polyploid evolution in buffalograss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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