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The Significance of Allozyme Variation and Introgression in the Liriodendron tulipifera Complex (Magnoliaceae)

Clifford R. Parks, Jonathan F. Wendel, Mitchell M. Sewell and Yin-Long Qiu
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 81, No. 7 (Jul., 1994), pp. 878-889
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445769
Page Count: 12
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The Significance of Allozyme Variation and Introgression in the Liriodendron tulipifera Complex (Magnoliaceae)
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Abstract

Fifty populations of Liriodendron tulipifera were sampled and scored for electrophoretic variation at 23 loci. The level of genetic polymorphism and population differentiation is greater in L. tulipifera than is usual for an outbreeding species. Since this species exhibits a cline of morphological and ecological variation from north to south, the 50 populations were divided into seven geographically defined regional groupings: three from the Appalachian uplands, three from the southeastern coastal plains, and one from the Florida peninsula. Nei's genetic identity, I, was calculated for all within- and among-population and region comparisons. The populations from the upland regions clustered closely together while the coastal plain populations were similar but measurably separated from the upland ones. The populations from the Florida peninsula were markedly divergent. A principal components analysis of the same data set revealed a nearly identical pattern of population clustering. Two hypotheses were explored to explain the pattern observed: 1) post-Pleistocene differentiation and migration from a single refugium and; 2) sympatry of two previously isolated taxa during glacial maxima, followed by introgression and migration. The weight of evidence best supports the introgression hypothesis which is explained in terms of plant migration events during Pleistocene time. The level and distribution of electrophoretic variation in L. tulipifera is compared to that of other woody taxa in which historical events of the Pleistocene may have contributed to modern levels and patterns of variation.

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