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Genetic Differentiation and Heterozygosity in Pinyon Pine Associated with Resistance to Herbivory and Environmental Stress
Susan Mopper, Jeffry B. Mitton, Thomas G. Whitham, Neil S. Cobb and Kerry M. Christensen
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Jun., 1991), pp. 989-999
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409704
Page Count: 11
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Arizona's Sunset Crater began erupting in 1064 AD and for the next 200 years buried over 2,000 km2 in ash, cinders, and lava. Soil analyses indicate that pinyon pines (Pinus edulis) currently colonizing the cinder fields are faced with a highly stressful environment. Many of these pinyons suffer chronic, intense insect herbivory that reduces plant growth and eliminates female cone production. In contrast, herbivory among pinyons growing in neighboring sandy-loam soils is minimal. Furthermore, numerous trees within the heavily infested cinder field population suffer relatively low herbivory and maintain normal growth and reproduction. We used four polymorphic enzymes to examine the relationship between herbivore attack, environmental stress and genotypes of the adjacent cinder field, and sandy-loam soil pinyon populations. Our results demonstrate that 1) resistant trees display significant genetic differences and are more heterozygous for two enzymes associated with herbivory than susceptible trees; and 2) the cinder-soil pinyons exhibit significant genetic differences and are more heterozygous for an enzyme associated with environmental stress than the neighboring sandy-loam soil pinyons. We conclude that heterozygosity of specific or closely linked loci may facilitate pinyon resistance to herbivory and environmental stress, and that strong selection across narrow geographic boundaries resulted in rapid genetic differentiation of pinyon populations.
Evolution © 1991 Society for the Study of Evolution