Chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) is most often maternally inherited and highly conserved leading to previous observation of little to no sequence variation. Comparing cpDNA haplotypes have provided valuable insight into the establishment and migration of polyploid populations. However, to use chloroplast haplotypes to their full potential intrapopulational variation needs to be addressed. In this study, cpDNA haplotype variation was surveyed within 16 natural populations of prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link) located east of the 100th west meridian and north of the 35th north parallel in the U.S.A. using two non-coding, polymorphic chloroplast regions. Two main clades were defined with subclades as follows: haplotype 1 and haplotype 2A and 2B. It was discovered that seven populations showed intrapopulational chloroplast genome variation. Of the total amount of variation, 95.5% occurred within the octoploid populations and 4.5% occurred within the tetraploid populations. Both variant haplotypes, 2A and 2B, were found in a larger sampling of one of the natural populations, but no variation was found in a mixed ploidy population. The intrapopulational cpDNA variation we found in this study cannot directly be related to mechanisms of introduction of the non-native populations into native populations. Therefore, this cpDNA variation could be novel natural variation that has been fixed as the octoploid populations were established and moved northwest. This analysis provides insight into determining the usefulness of indels and single nucleotide polymorphisms for population identification and may provide information in regards to the origin of chloroplast variation and its subsequent fixation and establishment in natural prairie cordgrass populations.
- prairie cordgrass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science