Premium Genetic population structure in horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum L.): effects of human‐mediated expansion across EuropePremium
VELLOZA THEODOSIUS M.,
TOOROP PETER E.,
PRITCHARD HUGH W.
plant species biology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract The geographical distribution of existing populations of horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum L.) in Europe is determined by past demographic events during the Quaternary. In the present study we evaluate the imprints that northward expansions originated from common ancestry at southern Europe may have left on the present patterns of genetic variation for horse chestnut across the continent. Genetic diversity and levels of population structure in a European south–north gradient, ranging from the Balkans to the Scandinavian Peninsula, were determined with Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers in 159 loci. A family of rarefaction techniques for the estimation of gene diversity was used to exclude potential confounding effects as a result of the unequal sample sizes. The results indicate that northern populations are not more genetically depleted than southern populations, thus suggesting that diversity for this species is not correlated with latitudinal distribution. Detailed hypotheses based on prediction models for different historical events associated with human‐mediated spread of cultivation are examined for a better understanding of the current genetic patterns of regional differentiation.
SCImago Journal Rank0.419
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