4 years ago

Phylogenetic study of the endemic species Oxytropis almaatensis (Fabaceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS sequences

Phylogenetic study of the endemic species Oxytropis almaatensis (Fabaceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS sequences
Nashtay Mukhitdinov, Saule Abugalieva, Shyryn Almerekova
Oxytropis almaatensis Bajt. is a rare, narrow endemic species of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains in Kazakhstan. Up to now, no studies regarding the taxonomy and variation of key morphological traits of O. almaatensis were undertaken. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate phenotypic variation of O. almaatensis and assess the position of the species within the genus based on nucleotide sequences of the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Two populations of O. almaatensis were collected in neighboring gorges of the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains. The ITS sequences from the samples of two populations of O. almaatensis were identical. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that O. almaatensis is within Oxytropis genetically close to O. glabra as these species formed a separate subclade. The phenotypic variation of populations was assessed using nine morphological traits and compared to descriptions of O. glabra. The range of variation for the traits between two populations was established. A clear morphological difference of O. almaatensis and O. glabra was found in peduncle length to leaf length ratio. This was in O. almaatensis 1.56, while in O. glabra, it was 1.0. The study provides the first phenotypic description and phylogenetic placement of the rare endemic species O. almaatensis. The morphological traits in two O. almaatensis populations showed a high level of phenotypic variability. Although clearly different from O. glabra, the ITS phylogeny grouped these species in a subclade within the genus.
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