Does genetic population structure of Ambrosina bassii L. (Araceae, Ambrosineae) attest a post-Messinian land-bridge between Sicily and Africa?

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Abstract

Aim of the present work is the analysis (through the study of enzyme polymorphism) of Sicilian and African (Tunisian) populations of Ambrosina bassii, a small perennial endemic to the Central-WesternMediterranean basin, in order to verify if the complex geological history of this part of the Mediterranean area left its mark in the present-day genetic structure of this taxon. Starch gel allozyme electrophoresisof seven putative loci of A. bassii was employed to estimate genetic diversity, genetic structure and gene flow. Populations from Sicily, Tunisia and Sardinia (as outgroup) were sampled. Results show that Sicily populations have 4 private alleles, Sardinia 3, Tunisia just one. One allele is private to both Sardinia and Tunisia, another one to Sardinia and Sicily. Even if there are no alleles private to Sicily and Tunisia, “cluster analysis” (based on Nei’s genetic distances), “non-metric multidimensional scaling” (computed on thebasis of a matrix with FST values between populations) and Bayesian analysis point out a clear isolation of Sardinian populations, and a greater similarity between Sicilian and Tunisian populations compared toSardinian ones. The strong genetic affinity between populations from Sicily and Tunisia, considering the very low dispersal ability of the species, gives evidence of a recent continuity between the populations as well as between the two areas. Considering also the estimates of divergence times, a post-Messinian terrestrial connection between the two landmasses can be hypothesized.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)646-653
Numero di pagine8
RivistaFlora
Volume207
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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