Neutral DNA markers fail to detect genetic divergence in an ecologically important trait

Bekessy, S, Ennos, R, Burgman, M, Newton, A and Ades, P 2003, 'Neutral DNA markers fail to detect genetic divergence in an ecologically important trait', Biological Conservation, vol. 110, no. 2, pp. 267-275.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Neutral DNA markers fail to detect genetic divergence in an ecologically important trait
Author(s) Bekessy, S
Ennos, R
Burgman, M
Newton, A
Ades, P
Year 2003
Journal name Biological Conservation
Volume number 110
Issue number 2
Start page 267
End page 275
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract The development of strategies for in situ, ex situ conservation and reforestation of the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), a vulnerable tree endemic to southern South America, has led to an interest in the level and distribution of the genetic diversity of the species. Neutral DNA markers (RAPDs) and quantitative genetic techniques were used to characterise genetic heterogeneity within and among populations from throughout the natural range of the species. Both the level and pattern of genetic variation estimated using the different techniques were essentially uncorrelated. An important discrepancy was found with the neutral markers failing to detect an important quantitative genetic divergence across the Andean Range relating to drought tolerance. This study clearly demonstrates the potential problems associated with making recommendations for conserving the genetic resource of threatened species based solely on neutral marker studies. Alternative approaches are discussed, including a stronger focus on ecologically important traits and the potential use of surrogate measures of genetic variability.
Subject Ecology not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Araucaria araucana
conservation genetics
evolutionary potential
quantitative genetics
RAPDs
DOI - identifier 10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00225-2
Copyright notice © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN 0006-3207
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