Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc. is an invasive species that has spread across Britain, Europe, Canada, and the United States. Prior to this research, no analysis of genetic diversity within, or among, populations had been conducted in the United States, although population genetic diversity had been examined in Britain. An analysis of genetic diversity was carried out using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA fingerprinting on plant populations along two creeks in Rowan County, Kentucky. One creek was sampled at one-meter intervals and the other at intervals of one to nine km. The results of this analysis indicate that the plants along both of these creeks are genetically dissimilar and not clonal. The data did not support the hypothesis that P. cuspidatum is reproducing and dispersing by asexual means.
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Vol. 68 • No. 1