cpDNA-RFLP in Ceramium (Rhodophyta): Intraspecific polymorphism and species-level phylogeny

R.A. Wattier, A.L. Davidson, B.A. Ward, Christine Maggs

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of chloroplast (cp) DNA is a powerful tool for the study of microevolutionary processes in land plants, yet has not previously been applied to seaweed populations. We used cpDNA-RFLP, detected on Southern blots using labeled total plastid DNA, to search for intraspecific and intrapopulational cpDNA RFLP polymorphism in two species of the common red algal genus Ceramium in Ireland and Britain. In C. botryocarpum one polymorphism was detected in one individual among 18 from two populations. Twenty-six individuals of C. virgatum from five populations at three locations exhibited a total of four haplotypes. One was frequent (80.8% of individuals); the others were rare (7.7, 7.7 and 4.2%) and were private to particular populations. Polymorphism was observed in two populations. The corrected mean was 2.26 +/- 0.36 haplotypes per population, which was within the typical range determined for higher plants using similar techniques. The spatial distribution of haplotypes was heterogeneous, with highly significant population differentiation (P = 0.00018; Fisher's exact test). Intraspecific polymorphism in C. virgatum had no impact on species-level phylogenetic reconstruction. This is the first unequivocal report of both intraspecific and intrapopulational cpDNA-RFLP polymorphism in algae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1213
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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