Premise of the study: Polymorphic markers were required for a native tree of the Mascarene Islands, Foetidia mauritiana (Lecythidaceae), to investigate the effects of fragmentation of lowland tropical habitats on tree mating systems and on gene flow.
Methods and results: Using microsatellite enrichment and next-generation sequencing, we identified 13 microsatellite loci (dinucleotide repeats). They were highly polymorphic in 121 trees sampled in the largest three populations on Réunion, revealing 2-17 different alleles per locus. Furthermore, they were found to be polymorphic in conspecific populations on Mauritius and in F. rodriguesiana from Rodrigues.
Conclusions: These results indicate the utility of these markers to investigate genetic diversity, mating systems, and gene flow in a genus native to the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands.
Keywords: Foetidia mauritiana; Lecythidaceae; Madagascar; ecological restoration; island biotas; tropical dry forests.