The genetics and conservation of Araucaria angustifolia: I. Genetic structure and diversity of natural populations by means of non-adaptive variation in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Neiva Maria Frizon Auler, Maurício Sedrez dos Reis, Miguel Pedro Guerra and Rubens Onofre Nodari
Curso de Pós-graduação em Recursos Genéticos Vegetais, Departamento de Fitotecnia, UFSC, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.
The objective of this study was to generate information relative to the allele distribution and dynamics within and among populations of Araucaria angustifolia, a naturally-occurring conifer in the south of Brazil, being known popularly as "pinheiro-do-Paraná", "araucaria" or pine tree. In order to elucidate the levels and the distribution of the genetic variability, the population's genetic structure and the genetic distance among natural populations of this species with different levels of disturbance in different geographical areas were studied in detail. For this, samples of leaf tissue were collected from 328 adult individuals in nine natural populations in Santa Catarina State. To analyze the samples, the allozyme technique was applied in starch gel electrophoresis (penetrose 13%), with citrate/morfholine buffer. Nine enzymatic systems (PGM, PGI MDH, PRX, SKDH, 6PGDH, ACP, IDH and G6PDH) revealed 15 loci. The analysis provided values for He and Ho of 0.084 and 0.072, respectively. The general average of polymorphic loci was 73% in the species and 26.6% in the studied populations and the allele number per locus was 1.6. Wright's F-statistical estimates indicated the existence of inbreeding in populations (FIS= 0.148) and a low divergence among populations (FST = 0.044). However, the inbreeding values were variable in different populations. Taken together, the results indicated that the greater part of the genetic variability is contained within populations. The working hypothesis that originally there was greater genetic diversity can be supported by these results which indicate that in the degraded populations the diversity indexes are lower in the degraded populations than those found in better-conserved populations. Thus the fragmentation of the forest followed by "araucaria" exploitation could have contributed to the genetic differentiation expressed through the allele frequency of the studied population.
Key words: pinheiro, forest degradation, genetic diversity, genetic erosion.
Genet. Mol. Biol. vol.25 no.3 São Paulo 2002.