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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Microsatellite variability and heterozygote excess in Elymus trachycaulus populations from British Columbia in Canada

Stevens L, Salomon B, Sun G


Microsatellite markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure in four populations of Elymus trachycaulus from British Columbia and one population of Elymus alaskanus from Northwest Territories. Fourteen microsatellite loci were used in this study. Our results indicated that E. trachycaulus is highly polymorphic, with an average percentage of polymorphic loci of 96.5% over the four populations. Average expected heterozygosity values (H-E or gene diversity) varied from 0.418 to 0.585 with a mean of 0.497. Most of the genetic variation was found within populations (85%) and the differentiation among populations was found to be 15% (F-st = 0.15). Interpopulation genetic distances corresponded well with the geographic distance between the population sites of origin, as well as morphological characteristics. Tests for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) for all loci and all populations revealed that all loci significantly differ from HWE. Subsequent analysis indicated that departure from HWE at some loci was due to an excess of heterozygotes. Possible explanations for heterozygote excess are discussed. The most likely reason for observed heterozygote excess could be due to the polyploidy nature of the species. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
2007, Volume: 35, number: 11, pages: 725-736

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    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Agricultural Science

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