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Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1316; doi:10.3390/molecules22081316

Genetic Structure and Eco-Geographical Differentiation of Wild Sheep Fescue (Festuca ovina L.) in Xinjiang, Northwest China

Department of Grassland Science, Animal Science and Technology College, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Sichuan Academy of Grassland Science, Chengdu 610097, China
Chongqing Academy of Animal Husbandry, Chognqing 400039, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diversity)
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Glaciation and mountain orogeny have generated new ecologic opportunities for plants, favoring an increase in the speciation rate. Moreover, they also act as corridors or barriers for plant lineages and populations. High genetic diversity ensures that species are able to survive and adapt. Gene flow is one of the most important determinants of the genetic diversity and structure of out-crossed species, and it is easily affected by biotic and abiotic factors. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic diversity and structure of an alpine species, Festuca ovina L., in Xinjiang, China. A total of 100 individuals from 10 populations were analyzed using six amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer pairs. A total of 583 clear bands were generated, of which 392 were polymorphic; thus, the percentage of polymorphic bands (PPB) was 67.24%. The total and average genetic diversities were 0.2722 and 0.2006 (0.1686–0.2225), respectively. The unweighted group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) tree, principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and Structure analyses revealed that these populations or individuals could be clustered into two groups. The analysis of molecular variance analysis (AMOVA) suggested that most of the genetic variance existed within a population, and the genetic differentiation (Fst) among populations was 20.71%. The Shannon differentiation coefficient (G’st) among populations was 0.2350. Limited gene flow (Nm = 0.9571) was detected across all sampling sites. The Fst and Nm presented at different levels under the genetic barriers due to fragmentation. The population genetic diversity was significant relative to environmental factors such as temperature, altitude and precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Festuca ovina L.; AFLP; genetic diversity; genetic barriers; environmental factors Festuca ovina L.; AFLP; genetic diversity; genetic barriers; environmental factors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, C.; Zhang, J.; Fan, Y.; Sun, M.; Wu, W.; Zhao, W.; Yang, X.; Huang, L.; Peng, Y.; Ma, X.; Zhang, X. Genetic Structure and Eco-Geographical Differentiation of Wild Sheep Fescue (Festuca ovina L.) in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Molecules 2017, 22, 1316.

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