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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10052-10066; doi:10.3390/ijms150610052

Genetic Variation of the Endangered Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca (Gentianaceae) in Populations from the Northwest Iberian Peninsula

1
Department of Agrarian Engineering and Sciences, Natural Resources Institute, University of León, Av. Portugal 41, 24071 León, Spain
2
Genetics Lab, Department of Molecular Biology, University of León, Campus de Vegazana, 24071 León, Spain
3
Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Corvinus University of Budapest, Ménesi Street, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

Gentiana lutea L. (G. lutea L.) is an endangered plant, patchily distributed along the mountains of Central and Southern Europe. In this study, inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to investigate the genetic variation in this species within and among populations of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca of the Cantabrian Mountains (Northwest Iberian Peninsula). Samples of G. lutea L. collected at different locations of the Pyrenees and samples of G. lutea L. subsp. vardjanii of the Dolomites Alps were also analyzed for comparison. Using nine ISSR primers, 106 bands were generated, and 89.6% of those were polymorphic. The populations from the Northwest Iberian Peninsula were clustered in three different groups, with a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances. Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca showed 19.8% private loci and demonstrated a remarkable level of genetic variation, both among populations and within populations; those populations with the highest level of isolation show the lowest genetic variation within populations. The low number of individuals, as well as the observed genetic structure of the analyzed populations makes it necessary to protect them to ensure their survival before they are too small to persist naturally.
Keywords: alpine plants; aurantiaca; Cantabrian Mountains; genetic diversity; geographical isolation; Gentiana lutea L.; small population; habitat fragmentation; over-exploitation alpine plants; aurantiaca; Cantabrian Mountains; genetic diversity; geographical isolation; Gentiana lutea L.; small population; habitat fragmentation; over-exploitation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

González-López, O.; Polanco, C.; György, Z.; Pedryc, A.; Casquero, P.A. Genetic Variation of the Endangered Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca (Gentianaceae) in Populations from the Northwest Iberian Peninsula. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 10052-10066.

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