Pollination Mode and Mating System Explain Patterns in Genetic Differentiation in Neotropical Plants

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Abstract

We studied genetic diversity and differentiation patterns in Neotropical plants to address effects of life history traits (LHT) and ecological attributes based on an exhaustive literature survey. We used generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) to test the effects as fixed and random factors of growth form, pollination and dispersal modes, mating and breeding systems, geographical range and habitat on patterns of genetic diversity (HS, HeS, π and h), inbreeding coefficient (FIS), allelic richness (AR) and differentiation among populations (FST) for both nuclear and chloroplast genomes. In addition, we used phylogenetic generalized least squares (pGLS) to account for phylogenetic independence on predictor variables and verify the robustness of the results from significant GLMMs. In general, GLMM revealed more significant relationships among LHTs and genetic patterns than pGLS. After accounting for phylogenetic independence (i.e., using pGLS), FST for nuclear microsatellites was significantly related to pollination mode, mating system and habitat. Plants specifically with outcrossing mating system had lower FST. Moreover, AR was significantly related to pollination mode and geographical range and HeS for nuclear dominant markers was significantly related to habitat. Our findings showed that different results might be retrieved when phylogenetic non-independence is taken into account and that LHTs and ecological attributes affect substantially the genetic pattern in Neotropical plants, hence may drive key evolutionary processes in plants.

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Ballesteros-Mejia, L., Lima, N. E., Lima-Ribeiro, M. S., & Collevatti, R. G. (2016). Pollination Mode and Mating System Explain Patterns in Genetic Differentiation in Neotropical Plants. PloS One, 11(7), e0158660. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158660

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