Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants by Donald A. Falk, Kent E. Holsinger

By Donald A. Falk, Kent E. Holsinger

Approximately seven hundred species of vegetation may perhaps develop into extinct by means of the 12 months 2000. confronted with this overwhelming prospect, plant conservationists needs to benefit from each procedure to be had. This distinctive paintings summarizes our present wisdom of the genetics and inhabitants biology of infrequent crops, and integrates it with functional conservation concepts. It beneficial properties discussions at the distribution and importance of genetic edition, administration and assessment of infrequent plant germplasm, and conservation techniques for genetic variety. Case reviews targeting particular difficulties supply vital insights for modern demanding situations in infrequent plant conservation.

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Hence the multilocus estimate of s will often be lower than estimates based on single loci. In self-compatible populations, the difference between the multilocus estimate and the mean of the single-locus estimates of s can be used to assess the degree of biparental inbreeding (Ritland 1984; Brown 1989c). In plants that cannot self, owing to male sterility or self-incompatibility, singlelocus estimates of j can be used to assess the degree of biparental inbreeding. For instance, male-sterile individuals in seven populations of gynodioecious Bidens spp.

Thus inbreeding depression and the selfing rate can be estimated with electrophoretic data if experimental studies are impractical; alternatively, both can be estimated from field data when electrophoretic techniques are not available. Inbreeding Depression and Mating Patterns Theoretical Considerations Fisher (1941) first pointed out that a selfing individual has an automatic advantage over an outcrossing individual owing to the greater number of genes that it contributes to its own seeds. In a population of outcrossers, each individual, on average, passes GENETIC CONSEQUENCES OF SMALL POPULATION SIZE IN PLANTS 21 one haploid copy of its genome through each of its own seeds and one such copy each time it fertilizes the seeds of another plant.

If wide distribution permits variability to develop, then preservation of a portion of the taxon's genetic diversity might later be the basis for "reconstitution" of that diversity. However, if adaptive genetic variation is essential in determining the plant's persistence in a range of environments, then conservation efforts aimed at maintaining the species' full potential should preserve a wider range of its variation. Low fitness of transplants and existence of diversified local genotypes suggest that preserving a broad range of the species' variability might be prudent for maximizing persistence.

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