Gnaphalium teydeum and G. luteo-album (Asteraceae) are two closely congeneric taxa native to the Canary Islands. While G. luteo-album is widespread in the Macaronesian Region, G. teydeum is endemic to the island of Tenerife and considered endangered by IUCN. Using the RAPD technique this study investigated the level and apportionment of genetic diversity of these taxa, trying to solve a taxonomic dispute related to G. teydeum. Based on the 102 DNA fragments generated by 11 primers, a high level of genetic differentiation was found between the taxa (FST = 0.366), with G. luteo-album showing levels of genetic variability (P = 100%; H = 0.246) higher than those found in G. teydeum (P = 75.5%; H = 0.173). UPGMA dendrogram and Bayesian cluster analysis clearly separated populations from both the species. Overall, results show that although morphological differentiation between G. teydeum and G. luteo-album is not strong, they show marked molecular divergence, supporting the current taxonomic status.
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