Genetic variation in natural populations of Anthurium sinuatum and A. pentaphyllum var. pentaphyllum (Araceae) from north-east Brazil using AFLP molecular markers

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Andrade, I. M., Mayo, S. J., Van den Berg, C., Fay, M. F., Chester, M., Lexer, C., Kirkup D.
Journal:Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Keywords:Anthurium, molecular

Genetic variation was investigated using AFLP markers in 12 populations of Anthurium sinuatum and A. pentaphyllum var. pentaphyllum (Araceae) in north-east Brazil, Amazonia and the Brazilian Atlantic forest. Two unique genetic patterns characterized the populations of A. sinuatum as a group, but no correlation between genetic and geographical interpopulation distance was found; the Amazonian population was not separated from that in Ceará. The isolated Ceará brejo populations of A. sinuatum were genetically distinct, but genetic diversity levels were similar to populations elsewhere, with no evidence of genetic erosion. Anthurium pentaphyllum populations were significantly different from each other; Bayesian genetic structural analysis found no common genetic pattern, but revealed genetic clusters unique to subgroups and individual populations in the Atlantic forest and French Guiana. Anthurium pentaphyllum and A. sinuatum can be distinguished genetically, but individuals of both species formed intermediate genetic clusters that blurred their distinction. We suggest that genetic mixing of A. sinuatum and A. pentaphyllum has occurred in north-east Brazil, possibly connected with cycles of humid forest expansion. The weak genetic structure in A. sinuatum is consistent with the natural fragmentation of continuous forest areas, possibly during the Holocene. This study highlights the scientific importance of the highly threatened brejo forests for tropical American biogeography.

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