AbstractBackground and Aims
Cycas guizhouensis (Cycadaceae) is a rare and endangered species endemic to the southwest of China. An investigation was undertaken into the genetic variation of wild populations.Methods
ISSR markers were used to determine the genetic variation within and between 12 extant populations of this species.Key Results
Low genetic diversity (at population level, P=14·21 %, HE=0·0597; at species level, P=35·90 %, HT=0·1082) and a high degree of differentiation among populations (GST=0·4321) were detected.Conclusions
This genetic structure is considered to be due to the combined effects of slow biochemical evolution, genetic drift, inbreeding and limited gene flow between populations. Based on these findings, strategies are proposed for the genetic conservation and management of the species.