Publication details

Intraspecific DNA content variability in Festuca pallens on different geographical scales and ploidy levels



Year of publication 2006
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Annals of Botany
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Botany
Keywords Festuca subg. Festuca; fescue; Gramineae; polyploidy; Poaceae; genome size; flow cytometry; phytogeography; Central Europe; infraspecific C-value variation; DAPI
Description Background and aims: Intraspecific genome size variability of Festuca pallens Host (Poaceae, Poaeae) occurring on relict rocky steppes in Central Europe was studied on two ploidy levels and three geographical scales: (i) local scale of 24 populations; 3 to 6 plants per population; (ii) landscape scale of three 9 to 13 km long transects in river canyons or hill systems; 15 to 34 samples per transect; (iii) global scale of 160 samples covering the whole distribution area. Methods: DAPI flow cytometry; homogenously cultivated samples (more than 1 year); measured randomly during one week with two internal standards Lycopersicon esculentum, Pisum sativum. The differences in DNA content were confirmed by the double-peaks of simultaneously measured samples. Key results: On a global scale, the DNA content ranged 1.170 fold in diploids, and 1.164 fold in tetraploids. In 16 of 24 populations significant variability was proved. On a landscape scale, a maximum difference of 1.088 fold between the mean relative DNA content of nearby populations was found. On a local scale, a maximum range of 1.121 fold of intrapopulation variability was detected. Conclusions: In both ploidy levels, the relative genome size had the same range and geographical pattern; it was correlated with the geographical coordinates, in diploids with a relict character of habitats, and with the character of palaeo-vegetation (20 000 bp): larger genomes in periglacial steppes , a potential refuge. In tetraploids, the relative DNA amount was correlated with three geographical types , then particular correlations in tetraploids (with the altitude, longitude, phytogeographic regions and type of bedrock) may be influenced by prevailing ecological conditions in the distribution areas of these types. The influence of the microhabitat on the DNA content variation was not confirmed within the populations. Tetraploids have a relative DNA amount smaller than twice the size of the diploids.
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