Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (01): 13-18.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.12.002

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Conservation implications of population genetic structure in a threatened orchid Cypripedium tibeticum

Jian-Ling Guoa, Wen-Juan Caoa, Zhi-Min Lia, Yong-Hong Zhanga, Sergei Volisb   

  1. a Life Science Department, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China;
    b Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, 650204, China
  • Received:2018-10-27 Revised:2018-12-22 Online:2019-02-25 Published:2019-03-15
  • Contact: Yong-Hong Zhang, Sergei Volis
  • Supported by:
    We thank Zhi-Kun Wu and Zhi-Qiang Zhang for their help in collecting plant materials and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 31460050 and 31760048 to Yong-Hong Zhang).

Abstract: Cypripedium tibeticum is a threatened orchid which efficient conservation requires knowledge of its extent and structure of genetic variation. Using two chloroplast DNA fragments (rps16 and trnL-F), we analyzed 157 individuals from 9 populations representing the species range in China. Seven haplotypes were identified. C. tibeticum had high total genetic diversity (HT=0.80) with major contribution to this diversity made by among-population component (GST=0.64, ΦST=0.86). However, despite high population differentiation there was no clear phylogeographic structure. The populations CY and DC made the greatest contribution to the total gene diversity as well as allelic richness. The possible mechanisms and implications of these findings for conservation of the species are discussed.

Key words: Cypripedium tibeticum, Orchid genetic diversity, Population differentiation, East Himalaya-Hengduan mountains, Conservation strategy