Population structure and genetic diversity of the rare and endangered Sinocalamus mucclure and Markhamia stipulata in Ba Be national Park, Vietnam.

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Journal Article
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 2011, 10 (6), pp. 312 - 322
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Plant species composition in Ba Be National Park, Vietnam identified five plants that were rare and endangered and at serious risk of disappearing from the park. However, only Sinocalamus mucclure (string bamboo) and Markhamia stipulata had sufficient numbers to warrant molecular analysis. ISSR (Inter Simple Sequence Repeats) and RAPD-PCR (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction) were used to determine genetic differences between populations of Sinocalamus mucclure and Markhamia stipulata and whether genetic diversity was correlated to geographic distance. Disturbance in the area was evident, however, biogeography features usually associated with human disturbance was a minor contribution to species fragmentation. Analysis of similarity in biogeography and vegetation parameters demonstrated that similarity between the sites was between 65 and 85% and introduced plant species to the park was low. Trees dominated the canopy and species richness varied between the sites. Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) of molecular data showed significant differences in populations of both plants and that substantial genetic variation between individuals of both species were present. ISSR revealed slightly less genetic diversity in both species (70-71% polymorphism) than RAPD-PCR (65-71% polymorphism). In conclusion, ISSR appeared to be more discriminatory than RAPD-PCR but both were versatile, sensitive and cost effective methods for use in genetic diversity and conservation genetics.
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