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An unexpected genetic diversity pattern and a complex demographic history of a rare medicinal herb, Chinese asparagus (Asparagus cochinchinensis) in Korea

Citation

Lee, Soo-Rang et al. (2019), An unexpected genetic diversity pattern and a complex demographic history of a rare medicinal herb, Chinese asparagus (Asparagus cochinchinensis) in Korea, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k10p97v

Abstract

Range-wide population studies of wide spread species are often associated with complex diversity patterns resulting from genetically divergent evolutionary significant units (ESUs). The compound evolutionary history creating such a pattern of diversity can be inferred through molecular analyses. Asparagus cochinchinensis, a medicinally important perennial herb, is in decline due to overharvesting in Korea. Eight A. cochinchinensis populations in Korea and three neighboring countries (China, Japan and Taiwan) were examined using nine nuclear microsatellite loci and three chloroplast microsatellite loci to characterize molecular diversity patterns. The average within-population diversity was limited likely due to long-term bottlenecks observed in all eight populations. High pairwise FST values indicated that the populations have largely diverged, but the divergences were not correlated with geographic distances. Clustering analyses revealed a highly complex spatial structure pattern associated with two ESUs. Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) suggest that the two ESUs split about 21,000 BP, were independently introduced to Korea approximately 1,800 years ago, and admixed in secondary contact zones. The two ESUs found in our study may have different habitat preferences and growth conditions, implying that the two genetically divergent groups should be considered not only for conservation and management but also for breeding programs in agricultural areas.

Usage Notes

Location

East Asia