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Population genetic structure of Cistus ladanifer L. (Cistaceae) and genetic differentiation from co-occurring Cistus species

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Amplified fragment length polymorphism and inter simple sequence repeat markers were used to assess the genetic structure of Cistus ladanifer and its genetic differentiation from co-occurring Cistus species. Clear genetic differentiation was found between two populations corresponding to the morphological description of Cistus palhinhae and the 23 Cistus ladanifer populations analyzed. However, the magnitude of differentiation (DICE coefficients >0.98) appears to be more in agreement with the taxonomic designation of Cistus ladanifer ssp. sulcatus, which has been proposed by some authors, and not C. palhinhae. Dendrogram analysis of the genetic relationships among Cistus ladanifer, Cistus populifolius, Cistus monspeliensis, Cistus crispus, Cistus libanotis, Cistus salvifolius and Cistus albidus, with Halimium halimifolium as an outgroup, showed two main clusters. Taxa composition of these clusters concurs with the taxonomic classification proposed for Iberian species on the basis of flower color. One cluster comprised species with pink flowers (C. crispus and C. albidus, P = 81.3%) classified into the subgenus Cistus, and the other cluster contained the remaining five species (P = 77.9%) that have white flowers and are classified into two subgenera, Leucocistus (C. ladanifer, C. populifolius, C. salvifolius and C. monspeliensis) and Halimioides (C. libanotis). Within the subgenera Leucocistus, C. ladanifer was found to be distinct and can be separated into the section Ladanium, while the remaining species that are grouped together in a branch (P = 74.8%) can be separated into the section Ledonia.
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Keywords: Mediterranean flora; biodiversity conservation; evolutionary biology; phylogeny; population structure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Biodiversity, Functional and Integrative Genomics FERN and 2: Center for Biodiversity, Functional and Integrative Genomics FCMA, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005–139 Faro, Portugal

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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