Holantarctic diversity varies widely among genetic loci within the gametophytically allotriploid peat moss Sphagnum × falcatulum

Eric F. Karlin, Peter E. Smouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Premise of the Study: The traditional approach used in analyses of population genetic data for historical inference is to average across multiple marker loci, but averaging conflates the different evolutionary signals provided by stable vs. labile markers. Methods: We used a battery of microsatellites with a wide range of mutation/substitution rates, grouping them into two sets (stable and hypervariable) to provide a more nuanced reconstruction of the population genetics and evolutionary history of the allotriploid peat moss Sphagnum × falcatulum across three disjunct regions. Key Results: Shannon diversity translation analyses show that the relative apportionment of total within-species allelic diversity (∆ WS ) within and among strata ranges widely, both between the two sets and within and among regions. The majority of diversity in the stable set was inherited directly from the ancestors of this genetically complex allopolyploid, but most of the diversity in the hypervariable set has developed post-hybrid-origin. Conclusions: It is useful to group markers into sets having similar evolutionary lability, with each set being analyzed separately, particularly for allopolyploids. A methodology for determining how to group markers into such sets is presented, which can be applied to the requirements of other studies. Within-individual allelic diversity (Δ WI ) should be addressed in genetic studies on allopolyploids. Allotriploid haplotypes based on a set of nine highly stable microsatellites appear to serve as a clonal-detection set for S. × falcatulum. An additive “allele-metric” diversity approach is introduced, which facilitates a direct comparison of within- and among-stratum diversity components at all levels of diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


  • Holantarctic
  • Shannon diversity translation analysis
  • Sphagnaceae
  • additive diversity partitioning
  • allopolyploid
  • population genetics


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