Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to provide estimates of the comparative genetic variation within and among four native populations of Schizachyrium scoparium. Genotypes were collected from high- and low-fertility sites in both New Jersey (forest biome) and in Oklahoma (grassland biome), USA, and propagated in the greenhouse. Four oligonucleotide primers, 10 bp in length, produced a total of 60 RAPD markers, with the minimum marker difference between any two individuals being 14 markers. Euclidean metric distances were calculated among all individuals, and the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) technique was used to apportion the total genetic variation among individuals within populations, populations within fertility levels, populations within biomes, fertility levels, and biomes. Even though most genetic variation resided within populations, statistically significant differences were detected between populations within each biome. Furthermore, genetic distances between high and low fertility levels within biomes were equal to or greater than biome distances. Therefore, in this wide-ranging and highly variable species, RAPD analysis suggests that local site differences in fertility and ecological history can promote genetic differentiation equal to or greater than geographical differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics