Premise of the Study: Studies of the geographic patterns of genetic variation can give important insights into the past population structure of species. Our study species, Taxodium distichum L. (bald-cypress), prefers riparian and wetland habitats and is widely distributed in southeastern North America and Mexico. We compared the genetic variation of T. distichum with that of its close relative, Cryptomeria japonica, which is endemic to Japan. Methods: Nucleotide polymorphisms of T. distichum in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley, USA, were examined at 10 nuclear loci. Key Results: The average nucleotide diversity at silent sites, 7sil, across the 10 loci in T. distichum was higher than that of C. japonica (7sil = 0.00732 and 0.00322, respectively). In T. distichum, Tajima's D values were each negative at 9 out of 10 loci, which suggests a recent population expansion. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian estimations of the exponential population growth rate (g) of T. distichum populations indicated that this species had expanded approximately at the rate of 1.7 - 1.0 10 -6 per year in the past. Conclusions: Taxodium distichum had signifi cantly higher nucleotide variation than C. japonica, and its patterns of polymorphism contrasted strikingly with those of the latter, which previously has been inferred to have experienced a reduction in population size.
Additional publication details
Multilocus patterns of nucleotide polymorphism and demographic change in Taxodium distichum (Cupressaceae) in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley