In the genus Pious the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8s region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA are approximately 3000 bp in length. ITS1 is considerably longer than ITS2 and partial sequences of ITS1 indicate that this region is evolving rapidly and exhibits intraspecific variation. The ITS2 and 5.8s regions are relatively conserved. We surveyed restriction fragment length variability of PCR-amplified fragments (PCR-RFLP) of the ITS region in four populations (86 individuals) of Pinus rzedowskii, a pine endemic to western Michoacan, Mexico. Five of the restriction endonucleases assayed revealed variation, with a total of 13 variants, most of which were length mutations of 300-900 bp. A moderate degree of population differentiation was detected. The average diversity (Shannon's index) of ITS fragment size patterns was 1.19, with 34% of the variation due to differences among populations and 66% due to differences among individuals within populations. The same individuals were assayed for nine polymorphic isozymes, which gave diversity measures similar to those of each restriction endonuclease.
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