Source Populations of Quercus glauca in the Last Glacial Age in Taiwan Revealed by Nuclear Microsatellite Markers

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In this work, we attempted to study genetic differentiation between populations of Quercus glauca in Taiwan using nuclear microsatellite markers to infer the potential refugium in the last glaciation stage. Four microsatellite loci for 20 individuals each in 10 populations of Taiwan were analyzed. We found that Q. glauca has relatively high within-population diversity (HE=0.741) and low population differentiation (FST=0.042) but shows isolation by distance. The most divergent populations, according to the average FST for individual populations in comparison with every other population, were found in populations Cy, Sa, and Hy in southern Taiwan and Pa in north-central Taiwan. Moreover, populations Cy, Sa, and Pa were recognized as being the source populations for gene recolonization after the last glaciation stage. In addition, the three sites of Wu, Ym, and Cy exhibited the highest gene diversities that coincided with populations with the highest chloroplast DNA variations. This may have resulted from an admixture of colonization routes. In conclusion, observations of the most divergent populations and source populations suggest that southern and probably north-central Taiwan may have potentially been refugia for Q. glauca in the last glaciation. This agrees with the possible refugium in southern Taiwan revealed by a previous study using chloroplast DNA markers.

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