Genetic Relationships and Patterns of Allozyme Divergence in the Ipomopsis Aggregata Complex and Related Taxa (polemoniaceae)

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American Journal of Botany



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The Ipomopsis aggregata complex consists of diploid, outcrossing, perennial herbs. The group is highly variable morphologically and is treated as three species: I. aggregata, I. tenuituba, and I. arizonica. Geographic races of I. aggregata and I. tenuituba are recognized as subspecies. Enzyme electrophoresis was used to examine genetic relationships among populations and taxa in the Ipomopsis aggregata complex and some related species. Genetic data for 23 allozyme loci from 60 populations were also used to determine how genetic variation is distributed geographically. Populations in the southwestern United States were more variable than those in the northwest: the center of genetic diversity corresponded to the center of species diversity. Allozymic data provided no evidence of loss of genetic variability associated with recent and rapid divergence. Genetic relationships based on Nei's genetic identity did not correspond to taxonomic relationships. For example, populations of both I. arizonica and I. tenuituba clustered within I. aggregata. Despite relatively high levels of genetic diversity among populations, diversity among taxa was low. Results indicated that floral divergence and concomitant speciation have occurred recently in the Ipomopsis aggregata complex. Allozymic patterns also reflected convergent evolution for floral morphology and possible introgression. Despite morphological differences among species, insufficient evolutionary time has elapsed for allelic fixation at neutral or near-neutral allozyme loci.

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