Nova, Pedro J. G. de and Cruz Rot, Marcelino de la and Monte, Juan V. del and Soler, Consuelo
Genetic relationships within and among Iberian fescues (Festuca L.) based on PCR-amplified markers.
"Genome", v. 49
The genus Festuca comprises approximately 450 species and is widely distributed around the world. The Iberian Penninsula, with more than 100 taxa colonizing very diverse habitats, is one of its main centers of diversification. This study was conducted to assess molecular genetic variation and genetic relatedness among 91 populations of 31 taxa of Iberian fescues, based on several molecular markers (random amplified polymorphic DNA, amplified fragment length polymorphisms, and trnL sequences). The analyses showed the paraphyletic origin of the broad-leaved (subgenus Festuca, sections Scariosae and Subbulbosae, and subgenus Schedonorus) and the fine-leaved fescues (subgenus Festuca, sections Aulaxyper, Eskia, and Festuca). Schedonorus showed a weak relationship with Lolium rigidum and appeared to be the most recent of the broad-leaved clade. Section Eskia was the most ancient and Festuca the most recent of the fine-leaved clade. Festuca and Aulaxyper were the most related sections, in concordance with their taxonomic affinities. All taxa grouped into their sections, except F. ampla and F. capillifolia (section Festuca), which appeared to be more closely related to Aulaxyper and to a new independent section, respectively. Most populations clustered at the species level, but some subspecies and varieties mixed their populations. This study demonstrated the value in combining different molecular markers to uncover hidden genetic relationships between populations of Festuca.