Allozyme variation in the three extant populations of the narrowly endemic cycad Dioon angustifolium Miq. (Zamiaceae) from North-eastern Mexico.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Dioon angustifolium was considered within D. edule. Recent morphometric and allozyme studies on D. edule have shown that D. angustifolium has originated from geographic isolation and is therefore considered to be a separate species. This cycad is endemic to north-eastern Mexico and is known only from three populations in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain chain. Its populations are small when compared with its southern relative D. edule. In this study, genetic variation was determined within and between populations of D. angustifolium and the genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation and isolation of populations of this species were assessed. METHODS: Allozyme electrophoresis of 14 presumptive loci was used. The data were analysed with statistical approximations for estimating genetic diversity, structure, gene flow and recent genetic bottlenecks. KEY RESULTS: Means and standard deviations of genetic diversity estimators were: number of alleles per locus (A = 1.67 +/- 0.23), percentage of polymorphic loci (P = 52.4 +/- 23 %) and expected heterozygosity (H(E) = 0.218 +/- 0.093). The genetic variation attributable to differences among populations was 16.7 %. Mean gene flow between paired populations was Nm = 1.55 +/- 0.67, which is similar to that reported for endemic plant species of narrow geographical distribution and species with gravity-dispersed seed. A recent bottleneck is detected in the populations studied. CONCLUSIONS: Dioon angustifolium presents high levels of genetic diversity compared with other cycad species, in spite of small population sizes. The recent bottleneck effect did not effectively reduce the genetic variation to the extent of eliminating these populations. The distribution of D. angustifolium appears to be the result of historical biogeographical effects related to the Pleistocene glaciations. It is recommended that this species be catalogued in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and conservation efforts be made to preserve it. (+info)
Odor-mediated push-pull pollination in cycads.
The reproductive organs of some plants self-heat, release scent, and attract pollinators. The relations among these processes are not well understood, especially in the more ancient, nonflowering gymnosperm lineages. We describe the influence of plant volatiles in an obligate pollination mutualism between an Australian Macrozamia cycad (a gymnosperm with male and female individuals) and its specialist thrips pollinator, Cycadothrips chadwicki. Pollen-laden thrips leave male cycad cones en masse during the daily thermogenic phase, when cone temperatures and volatile emissions increase dramatically and thrips are repelled. As thermogenesis declines, total volatile emissions diminish and cones attract thrips, resulting in pollination of female cones. Behavioral and electrophysiological tests on thrips reveal that variations in b-myrcene and ocimene emissions by male and female cones are sufficient to explain the observed sequential thrips' repellence (push) and attraction (pull). These dynamic interactions represent complex adaptations that enhance the likelihood of pollination and may reflect an intermediate state in the evolution of biotic pollination. (+info)
Differential patterns of evolution and distribution of the symbiotic behaviour in nostocacean cyanobacteria.