Research Paper

Population genetic diversity and genetic structure of Amorphophallus yunnanensis in Southwestern China and its conservation implication

Si Yin, Honglong Chu, Yanan Zhang, Feidong Lu, Lizhou Tang, Yong Gao

Published on: 24 March 2021

Page: 126 - 134

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2021.66.126

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2021 vol.66 no.2 pp.126-134


Amorphophallus yunnanensis is a perennial herb distributed throughout southwestern China. The degradation and reduction of habitats due to human activities caused declines in A. yunnanensis. We developed simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers with restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) to estimate the genetic diversity and evaluate population differentiation of A. yunnanensis in southwestern China. We found that the genetic diversity of A. yunnanensis was relatively low compared to the widely distributed Amorphophallus konjac. Population structure analyses revealed three genetic groups that corresponded to geographic distributions. One of these genetic groups (group A) that consisted of two populations in the relatively southern part exhibited the highest genetic diversity and more rare alleles, suggesting a hotspot of diversification in A. yunnanensis. These results indicated that the three genetic groups should be treated as distinct evolutionarily significant units and a higher conservation priority should be placed on group A.

Keyword: Amorphophallus yunnanensis, Genetics diversity, Genetic monitoring, Population structure, RAD-seq, SSR