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Genetic differentiation between Carex lasiocarpa and C. pellita (Cyperaceae) in North America



Genetic differentiation between Carex lasiocarpa and C. pellita (Cyperaceae) in North America



American Journal of Botany 81(2): 224-231



Carex lasiocarpa and C. pellita (sect. Carex) share a very similar morphology and have overlapping ranges in North America, but are found in different habitats characterized by contrasting soil types and pH. We studied allozyme variation and chromosome numbers to assess genetic differentiation between the two taxa. Both principal components analysis on the allele frequencies from 12 putative enzyme-coding loci and cluster analysis of genetic identities separated 51 sampled populations into two groups that were consistent with recognized structural differences between C. lasiocarpa and C. pellita. Mean within-group genetic identities were 0.95 for C. lasiocarpa and 0.93 for C. pellita; mean between-group genetic identity was 0.81. With the exception of two rare alleles, the alleles of C. pellita were a subset of those found in C. lasiocarpa. Principal components analysis of measurements of structural characters from voucher specimens representing 46 populations also separated the two species with minimal overlap. Meiotic squashes of microsporocytes revealed haploid chromosome numbers of 38 and 38 + 1 for C. lasiocarpa and 41 and 40 + 1 for C. pellita. These data support the continued recognition of the two taxa as distinct species, and suggest that C. pellita may be a daughter species still in the process of divergence from C. lasiocarpa. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. .

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Accession: 002390637

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DOI: 10.2307/2445637


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