Low genetic diversity and high genetic differentiation among severely fragmented populations of the critically endangered tree Talbotiella gentii (Fabaceae)

  • D Dompreh
  • MD Swaine
  • A Price

Abstract

The genetic diversity among 17 populations (including 10 newly discovered) ofTalbotiella gentii (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae), a rare tree species endemic to Ghana, was assessed using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). A total of 80 polymorphic bands were generated from eight primers and analysed by cluster and correspondence analysis. This showed a clear distinction between populations, with two major groups associated with geographical origin. AMOVA analysis showed that 94.05% of the genetic variation was partitioned among populations, while only 5.95% was found within populations suggesting little gene flow between populations. Possible reasons for the high population genetic differentiation and the low levels of genetic variation  within populations are inbreeding and genetic drift. Of a total of 26 known populations, 14 are now extinct, five during the course of this study. Action to prevent complete extinction of the species is therefore urgent.

Keywords: Caesalpinioideae, Fabaceae, Ghana, inbreeding, population differentiation, RAPD, species extinction

Southern Forests 2011, 73(2): 73–80

Author Biographies

D Dompreh
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK; Current address: Department of Silviculture and Forestry Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, Kumasi, Ghana
MD Swaine
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK
A Price
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK
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Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2070-2639
print ISSN: 2070-2620