Evidence for spatial structure and directional gene flow in a population of an aquatic plant, Potamogeton coloratus

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Six hundred and forty-seven samples of Potamogeton coloratus from 60 ditches in the Gordano Valley, Somerset were analysed for variation at two polymorphic PGM isozyme loci using starch gel electrophoresis. A total of eight genotypes was detected, and a high level of partitioning of genetic variability between ditches was observed with FST = 0.575. Genetic variability was shown to increase with distance from the head of the valley. The genetic subdivision of the population and pattern of increasing diversity downstream and downwind were attributed to genetic bottlenecks, associated with ditch cleaning events, and subsequent directional gene flow mediated by the prevailing wind and water currents.

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