Genetic relationships among Spiranthes parksii and congeneric species
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Using four AFLP markers and seven polymorphic microsatellite loci, we examined the genetic structure of the rare and endangered Spiranthes parksii Correll (Orchidaceae). Spiranthes parksii is not distinguishable from sympatric S. cernua (L.) Rich based on these data, though low levels of polymorphisms exist within both. These low levels of genetic diversity are likely a result of high levels of agamospermic reproduction through adventitious embryony. These results suggest that both S. parksii, as well as the sympatric, open flower form of S. cernua, are products of the more widely distributed S. cernua complex. Further, another local form of S. cernua, distinguished by its tendency to produce closed flowers is genetically distinct from both S. parksii, as well as the openflower form of S. cernua, as shown by AFLPs and microsatellite loci. This is the first known set of microsatellite primers developed specifically for use in Spiranthes. The application of these markers may be used to address other unresolved relationships among species of Spiranthes, many of which are also endangered or have populations in decline.
Walters, Catherine (2005). Genetic relationships among Spiranthes parksii and congeneric species. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from