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Allozyme variation and conservation of the Tasmanian endemics, Eucalyptus risdonii, E. tenuiramis and E. coccifera


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Turner, C, Wiltshire, RJE, Potts, BM and Vaillancourt, RE 2000 , 'Allozyme variation and conservation of the Tasmanian endemics, Eucalyptus risdonii, E. tenuiramis and E. coccifera' , Conservation Genetics, vol. 1, no. 3 , pp. 209-216 , doi: 10.1023/A:1011501720944.

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The rare Tasmanian endemic Eucalyptus risdonii is thought to have arisen as a result of small, heterochronic
changes to the genome of its more widespread sister species, E. tenuiramis. Previous morphological studies have
shown that genetic differentiation between populations of E. risdonii and southern E. tenuiramis is continuous
and much smaller than the separation between the southern and northern morphotypes of E. tenuiramis. However,
morphological traits may be influenced by selection, possibly leading to convergence, requiring an independent
measure of genetic variation. We studied allozyme frequency variation in E. risdonii, southern E. tenuiramis
(parapatric with E. risdonii), northern E. tenuiramis (disjunct from southern populations), and E. coccifera (as
an outgroup). Each morphotype had a level of genetic diversity close to the average reported in ten other eucalypt
species with similar distributions but the coefficients of population differentiation within morphotypes were lower
than in most other eucalypt species. The overall difference between morphotypes was extremely small, possibly
as a result of recent and rapid differentiation, but may also be the result of gene flow from other peppermint taxa,
including E. amygdalina and E. pulchella. Southern E. tenuiramis has greater genetic affinity with E. risdonii
than with northern E. tenuiramis which supports recent evolutionary divergence of E. risdonii. In this study we
have shown that taxonomic units are not necessarily aligned with an equitable partition of the gene pool and that
conservation units should be much broader than single taxa in order to preserve evolutionary processes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Turner, C and Wiltshire, RJE and Potts, BM and Vaillancourt, RE
Keywords: genetic variation, heterochrony, hybrids, rapid speciation, rare endemic species
Journal or Publication Title: Conservation Genetics
ISSN: 1566-0621
DOI / ID Number: 10.1023/A:1011501720944
Additional Information:

BM Potts. The original publication is available at

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