|J. Prohens, F.J. Herraiz, F. Nuez, G.J. Anderson, A. Santos-Guerra, G. Bernardello, D. Crawford
|Canary Islands, genetic differentiation, genetic structure, Solanum subg. Leptostemonum
Solanum vespertilio and S. lidii (Solanum subg. Leptostemonum) are endangered Canary Islands endemics with unique characteristics, particularly of the reproductive system and ecological value.
We studied the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) diversity in a total of five populations of S. vespertilio and three of S. lidii, populations ranging in size from 6–11 individuals.
Five related species from continental Africa (S. aff. violaceum, S. campylacanthum, S. dasyphyllum, S. delagoense and S. panduriforme) were used as controls.
A total of 235 AFLP fragments were scored of which 230 were polymorphic.
Results show that each of the three combinations of primers used for the AFLPs gave results coherent with the other combinations. Solanum vespertilio and S. lidii are genetically differentiated from their African relatives and, although the species are morphologically generally similar to each other, they are also genetically differentiated, probably reflecting their genetic isolation (Solanum vespertilio populations come from Tenerife, while those of S. lidii are from Gran Canaria). Several AFLP fragments are exclusive to or universal among all individuals of either S. vespertilio or S. lidii, reflecting the genetic isolation of the species.
The total diversity is similar in both species, and the number of polymorphic loci within each population is high (33%–53%). However, populations of S. lidii contain more diversity than those of S. vespertilio. Values of genetic differentiation among populations of each species are moderate (Gst=0.28 for S. vespertilio and Gst=0.19 for S. lidii), suggesting that genetic flux exists (or existed) among populations.
AFLPs have been useful in the study of the diversity of S. vespertilio and S. lidii, and the results obtained with these markers have important implications for the systematics and conservation of these species.
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