Microsatellite variation and assessment of genetic structure in tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia-Myrtaceae)

Mol Ecol. 1999 Apr;8(4):633-43. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294x.1999.00622.x.


Analysis of five microsatellite loci in 500 Melaleuca alternifolia individuals produced 98 alleles that were useful for population genetic studies. Considerable levels of observed heterozygosity were recorded (HO = 0.724), with approximately 90% of the variability being detected within populations. A low level of selfing (14%) was suggested to be the principal cause of excess homozygosity in a number of populations (overall FIS = 0.073). This study showed low levels of inbreeding in certain populations as well as a significant isolation-by-distance model. Only two groups of populations (Queensland and New South Wales) constituted different genetic provenances as a result of geographical isolation. The M. alternifolia data suggest that microsatellite loci did not always arise by a stepwise mutation process but that larger jumps in allele size may be involved in their evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Biological Evolution
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Plants, Medicinal / genetics*
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Trees / genetics*


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Tea Tree Oil