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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Beautiful but lacking diversity : population genetics of Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii Audobon ex Torr. & A. Gray) Keir, Karolyn R.

Abstract

In the past, conifers have been the primary focus of population and conservation genetic studies in Pacific Northwest (PNW) trees. These studies have provided tremendous insight as to how genetic diversity varies across species ranges for these wind-pollinated and mostly wind-dispersed species. With this study of Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), a broadleaved, PNW species, which utilizes biological vectors for pollen and seed dispersal, we hope to broaden our understanding of tree evolutionary dynamics. Marker development for C. nuttallii found few useful polymorphisms. Of eight microsatellite markers (SSRs) developed from a closely related species, three were monomorphic, while the other five averaged only 4.4 alleles/locus. Furthermore, only a single base pair substitution was found in the rpl16 region of the chloroplast genome after sequencing 2,262 non-coding base pairs in 100 individuals. This lack of diversity, which was found to be ubiquitous throughout the range of C. nuttallii, suggests this species may have endured a prolonged bottleneck in a single glacial refugium prior to recolonization. The cpDNA phylogeographic pattern and a significant decline in both SSR allelic richness (r² = 0.42, p

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