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Chloroplast microsatellites reveal that metallicolous populations of the Mediterranean shrub Cistus ladanifer L have multiple origins

Celestino Quintela-Sabarís, Giovanni Giuseppe Vendramin, Daniel Castro-Fernández and M. Isabel Fraga
Plant and Soil
Vol. 334, No. 1/2 (September 2010), pp. 161-174
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24130640
Page Count: 14
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Abstract

Cistus ladanifer L. (Cistaceae) is a Mediterranean shrub covering different kinds of soils in the Western Mediterranean area. This species has colonised several metalliferous areas (serpentine outcrops as well as human-polluted sites) throughout its distribution range, and is therefore an interesting species to study the possible effects on genetic diversity and differentiation produced by the colonisation of areas polluted with heavy metals. The genetic structure of 33 natural populations distributed across its entire natural distribution range (Morocco, Portugal and Spain) and growing on either metalliferous or non-metalliferous soils was investigated using chloroplast microsatellites. Population genetic parameters were estimated and genetic groups were identified using Bayesian inference. In addition, we compared the genetic diversity and differentiation among metallicolous and non-metallicolous populations within each Bayesian-defined group. The cpSSR data suggested that metallicolous populations of Cistus ladanifer have arisen through multiple independent evolutionary origins within two different chloroplast lineages. Evidence that the soil type provoked genetic bottlenecks in metallicolous populations or genetic differentiation among metallicolous and non-metallicolous populations was not observed. Historical factors are the main cause of the present genetic structure of C. ladanifer. The nature of tolerance to heavy metals as a species-wide trait in this shrub is discussed.

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