Plant Ecology and Evolution 151(1): 61-76, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2018.1343
Genetic variation and dispersal patterns in three varieties of Pinus caribaea (Pinaceae) in the Caribbean Basin
expand article infoVirginia Rebolledo Camacho, Lev Jardón Barbolla§, Ivón Ramírez Morillo|, Alejandra Vázquez-Lobo, Daniel Piñero#, Patricia Delgado¤
‡ Instituto de Investigaciones Forestales, Universidad Veracruzana, Parque Ecológico “El Haya”, Carretera antigua a Coatepec S/N, CP 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico§ Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Torre II de Humanidades, 4º piso, Ciudad Universitaria, CP 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico| Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, A.C. Calle 43 #130 x 32 y 34, Colonia Chuburná de Hidalgo, CP 97205 Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico¶ Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Conservación, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Av. Universidad No. 1001, Colonia Chamilpa, CP 62209 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico# Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Tercer Circuito Exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, CP 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico¤ Facultad de Agrobiología “Presidente Juárez”, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Paseo de la Revolución esquina con Berlín S/N, Colonia Viveros, CP 60170 Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico
Open Access

BackgroundPinus caribaea Morelet comprises three varieties of tropical pines distributed in the Caribbean Basin: P. caribaea var. hondurensis, var. caribaea, and var. bahamensis. The insular and continental distribution of these varieties, as well as the geological processes in the region, have been important factors for analysing evolutionary processes implicated in the diversification of these lineages. In this study, we evaluate the genetic and geographic structure within and between these three varieties in order to infer the possible origin and dispersal routes of these taxa.

Methods – We used six polymorphic nuclear microsatellites (nSSR) in fifteen representative populations of the three pine varieties, sampled throughout their natural range in Central America, Cuba and the Bahamas islands.

Results – The varieties contain similar levels of genetic variation (mean He = 0.571), with several populations out of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and significant levels of inbreeding (0.097–0.184, P ≤ 0.05). A slight but significant genetic differentiation was found between the varieties (RST = 0.088) and populations (RST= 0.082), and genetic differentiation increased with geographic distance (r2 = 0.263). Distance and Bayesian BAPS analyses generated seven groups; two represented by the two island varieties and the remainder by the Central American populations of var. hondurensis. Migration rate estimates between pairs of groups ranged from M = 0.47 to M = 20.16. Estimates were generally higher from the continent to islands, with the highest migration rate estimated from a continental genetic group to the Cuba island group of var. hondurensis (M = 20.16).

Conclusions – This study supports the hypothesis of a recent origin of these pine taxa through the migration of an ancestor from Central America, where the historical demography is associated with events of colonization, expansion and contraction of populations. The genetic variation and differentiation suggest that the three varieties are divergent lineages that currently share allelic variants, indicating that their speciation has not yet completed.

Pinus caribaea varieties, genetic variation, microsatellites, lineage divergence, migration routes, Caribbean Basin


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