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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341976

Research Project: Genetic Characterization, Genetic Improvement, and Best Horticultural Management Practices for Subtropical/Tropical Ornamental Germplasm

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Extinction risk of Zamia inermis (Zamiaceae): a genetic approach for the conservation of its single natural population.

Author
item Iglesias-andreu, Lourdes - University Of Veracruz
item Octavio-aguilar, Pablo - Universidad Autonoma Del Estado De Hidalgo
item Vovides, Andrew - Ecology Institute
item Meerow, Alan
item Cáceres-gonzález, Francisco - Universidad Autonoma Del Estado De Hidalgo
item Galván-hernández, Dulce María - Universidad Autonoma Del Estado De Hidalgo

Submitted to: International Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2017
Publication Date: 11/8/2017
Citation: Iglesias-Andreu, L.G., Octavio-Aguilar, P., Vovides, A.P., Meerow, A.W., Cáceres-González, F., Galván-Hernández, D. 2017. Extinction risk of Zamia inermis (Zamiaceae): a genetic approach for the conservation of its single natural population. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 178:715-723.

Interpretive Summary: Zamia inermis, is an Mexican cycad that has been classified under the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered based on a 75% population decline over the last 50 years. There is only one known population occupying an area of less than 10 km2 with 654 individuals with extremely low seed production and recruitment. The present study compares the genetic diversity of the only known wild population of Z inermis and one cultivated population established five years ago by a local community running a rural backyard nursery. We aimed to assess the current conservation status and to propose a more efficient management strategy. Our results 10 DNA markers showed a low genetic diversity in comparison to other new world cycads. Significant differences were found between the cultivated and wild populations. Z. inermis has the lowest genetic diversity to be reported for Mexican cycads. The cultivated population had lower variation than wild population and thus does not fully represent the genetic diversity of the species. This suggests that there was a poor representation of genetic diversity among the seeds collected to establish the cultivated population. Alternative conservation strategies are suggested.

Technical Abstract: Zamia inermis, a narrowly endemic cycad has been classified under the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered based on a 75% population decline over last 50 years. There is only one known population occupying an area of less than 10 km2 with 654 individuals with extremely low seed production and recruitment. The present study compares the genetic diversity of the only known in situ population of Z inermis and one ex situ population established five years ago by a local community running a rural backyard nursery. We aimed to assess the current conservation status and to propose a more efficient management strategy. Our results by using a total of 10 SSR loci showed a low observed heterozygosity (0.151 ± 0.075) in comparison to other new world cycads. Significant differences were found between ex situ population and wild populations (Differentiation index FST = 0.734, p < 0.001), with lower variation within (27 %) than among (73 %) populations. Z. inermis presented the lowest genetic diversity to be reported for Mexican cycads. The ex situ population had a lower variation than wild population and thus does not fully represent the genetic diversity of the species. This suggests that there was a poor representation of genetic diversity among the seed collected to establish the ex situ population. Alternative conservation strategies are suggested.