Liu, Y., Fu, Y.-B. and Coulman, B. E. 2013. Evaluating genetic variation and relationships amongPuccinellia nuttallianapopulations using amplified fragment length polymorphism markers. Can. J. Plant Sci. 93: 1097-1104. Nuttall's salt-meadow, or alkali grass [Puccinellia nuttalliana (Shultes) Hitchc.], is a native grass species in North America, well known for its salt tolerance. Little information is available about the genetic diversity of natural populations of this species. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers were used to examine the inter-population relationships and to compare variances within and among 23 populations collected from the Canadian Great Plains. Five AFLP primer pairs were employed to screen 15 genotypes (five sets of three half-sib plants) from each population, and 185 polymorphic AFLP bands were scored for each sample. The frequencies of these scored bands ranged from 0.02 to 0.99 with a mean of 0.60. The analysis of molecular variance revealed more than 96% of the total AFLP variation resided within populations. Populations were not highly differentiated with only 4% of the total AFLP variation residing among populations. A Mantel test revealed a significant but low correlation between genetic and geographic distances (r=0.29, P=0.024). Implications for P. nuttalliana conservation, germplasm sampling, and cultivar development are discussed.
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