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Mapping the Genetic Diversity of Castanea sativa: Exploiting Spatial Analysis for Biogeography and Conservation Studies

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DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2016.82022    2,035 Downloads   2,635 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

The current distribution of forest tree species is a result of natural or human mediated historical and contemporary processes. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of the diversity and divergence of populations is crucial for managing and conserving genetic resources in forest tree species. By combining tools from population genetics, landscape ecology and spatial statistics, landscape genetics thus represents a powerful method for evaluating the geographic patterns of genetic resources at the population level. In this study, we explore the possibility of combining genetic diversity data, spatial statistic tools and GIS technologies to map the genetic divergence and diversity of 31 Castanea sativa populations collected in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. The IDW technique was used to interpolate the diversity values and divergence indices as expected hetereozygosity (He), allelic richness (Rs), private allelic richness (PRs), and membership values (Q) of each population to different clusters. Genetic diversity maps and a synthetic map of the spatial genetic structure of European chestnut populations were produced. Spatial coincidences between landscape elements and statistically significant genetic discontinuities between populations were investigated. Evidence is provided of the significance of cartographic outputs produced in the study and on their usefulness in managing genetic resources.

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Chiocchini, F. , Mattioni, C. , Pollegioni, P. , Lusini, I. , Martín, M. , Cherubini, M. , Lauteri, M. and Villani, F. (2016) Mapping the Genetic Diversity of Castanea sativa: Exploiting Spatial Analysis for Biogeography and Conservation Studies. Journal of Geographic Information System, 8, 248-259. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2016.82022.

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