Genetic variation in the endangered Anisodus tanguticus (Solanaceae), an alpine perennial endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Genetica. 2008 Feb;132(2):123-9. doi: 10.1007/s10709-007-9154-5. Epub 2007 May 22.


We used random amplified polymorphic DNA markers (RAPDs) to assess genetic variation between- and within-populations of Anisodus tanguticus (Solanaceae), an endangered perennial endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau with important medicinal value. We recorded a total of 92 amplified bands, using 12 RAPD primers, 76 of which (P=82.61%) were polymorphic, and calculated values of H(t) and H(sp) of 0.3015 and 0.4459, respectively, suggesting a remarkably high rate of genetic variation at the species level. The average within-population diversity also appeared to be high, with P, H(e) and H(pop) values of 55.11%, 0.1948 and 0.2918, respectively. Analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that among- and between-population genetic variation accounted for 67.02% and 32.98% of the total genetic variation, respectively. In addition, Nei's coefficient of differentiation (G(ST)) was found to be high (0.35), confirming the relatively high level of genetic differentiation among the populations. These differentiation coefficients are higher than mean corresponding coefficients for outbreeding species, but lower than reported coefficients for some rare species from this region. The genetic structure of A. tanguticus has probably been shaped by its breeding attributes, biogeographic history and human impact due to collection for medicinal purposes. The observed genetic variations suggest that as many populations as possible should be considered in any planned in situ or ex situ conservation programs for this species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Solanaceae / genetics*
  • Tibet