Phylogenetic Analysis of Genetic Variation and Population Structure in the Least (Eutamial minimus) and Uinta (E. imbrinus) Chipmunks

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Theoretical and Applied Genetics



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Amaranthus includes approximately 60 species, of which three are cultivated as a grain source. Many wild Amaranthus species possess agriculturally desirable traits such as drought and salt tolerance, and pathogen resistance. We examined relationships among wild and cultivated Amaranthus species based upon restriction-site variation in two chloroplast DNA regions and in a nuclear DNA region. The chloroplast regions consisted of (1) an intergenic spacer in transfer RNA genes and (2) the ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase gene with a flanking open reading frame. The nuclear region was the internal transcribed spacers ITS-1 and ITS-2 flanking the 5.8S gene in the ribosomal DNA. These regions were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction and digested with a total of 38 restriction endonucleases. We detected 11 potentially informative restriction-site mutations and seven length-polymorphisms among the 28 Amaranthus species. Parsimony analysis was used to find the shortest tree for each separate data set (chloroplast, nuclear, and length) and for two combined matrices (chloroplast/nuclear and all data sets). Overall, there was a low level of variation which generated poorly resolved trees among the 28 species. Congruence analyses revealed that the chloroplast and nuclear data sets were congruent with each other but not to the length data set. The congruence of the chloroplast and nuclear data sets suggested that cytoplasmic gene flow may not be a confounding factor in our analyses. The phylogeny also suggested that drought tolerance evolved independently several times. The molecular phylogeny provides a basis for selection of species pairs for crop development.

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