Assessment of genetic diversity and distance of three Cicuta virosa populations in South Korea

  • Received : 2013.08.05
  • Accepted : 2013.09.08
  • Published : 2013.09.27


Cicuta virosa L. (Apiaceae) is a perennial emergent plant designated as an endangered species in South Korea. According to the former records, only four natural habitats remain in South Korea. A former study suggested that three of four populations (Pyeongchang: PC, Hoengseong: HS, Gunsan: GS) would be classified as different ecotypes based on their different morphological characteristics and life cycle under different environmental conditions. To evaluate this suggestion, we estimated genetic diversity in each population and distance among three populations by random amplification of polymorphic DNA. Seven random primers generated a total of 61 different banding positions, 36 (59%) of them were polymorphic. Nei's gene diversity and the Shannon diversity index increased in the order of PC < HS < GS, which is the same order of population size. In the two-dimensional (2D) plot of first two principal components in principal component analysis with the presence of 61 loci, individuals could be grouped as three populations easily (proportion of variance = 0.6125). Nei's genetic distance for the three populations showed the same tendency with the geographical distance within three populations. And it is also similar to the result of discriminant analysis with the morphological or life-cycle factors from the previous study. From the results, we concluded that three different populations of C. virosa should be classified as ecotypes based on not only morphology and phenology but genetic differences in terms of diversity and distance as well.


ecotype;genetic distance;RAPD;water hemlock


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