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Title: Evolutionary history of two endemic Appalachian conifers revealed using microsatellite markers

Author: Potter, Kevin M.; Frampton, John; Josserand, Sedley A.; Nelson, C. Dana

Date: 2010

Source: Conserv Genet 11:1499–1513

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: Fraser fir (Abies fraseri [Pursh] Poir.) and intermediate fir (Abies balsamea [L.] Mill. var. phanerolepis Fern.) exist in small populations in the Appalachian highlands of the southeastern United States. We used ten nuclear microsatellite markers to quantify genetic variation within Fraser fir and intermediate fir, and to examine their evolutionary relationships with the widespread balsam fir (Abies balsamea [L.] Mill.). We found little genetic differentiation among these taxa, suggesting that Fraser fir might best be classified as a variety of balsam fir. The results further appear to reject the hypothesis that intermediate fir was of hybrid origin between two comparatively distantly related species. Low levels of genetic diversity suggest that intermediate fir and Fraser fir have undergone at least some genetic degradation since post- Pleistocene isolation. The results may prove important for in situ and ex situ gene conservation efforts for Fraser fir and intermediate fir, which are imperiled by an exotic insect and by global climate change.

Keywords: Biogeography, Pleistocene, Migration, Population genetics, Microsatellite markers, Abies

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Citation:


Potter, Kevin M.; Frampton, John; Josserand, Sedley A.; Nelson, C. Dana 2010. Evolutionary history of two endemic Appalachian conifers revealed using microsatellite markers. Conserv Genet 11:1499–1513.

 


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