Sixteen polymorphic nuclear microsatellite markers were developed for Meliosma arnottiana (Wright) Walp. (Sabiaceae), a deciduous or half-evergreen tree. In Japan, the species is disjunctively distributed in the Izu Islands and the southern part of the Japanese archipelago, and the Izu population (var. hachijoensis) is regarded as a threatened species. Variations in the 16 markers were compared between the two populations on the Izu and Ryukyu Islands. The mean number of alleles was 3.00 and 5.31, and the mean expected heterozygosity was 0.233 and 0.513, respectively, on the Izu and Ryukyu Islands, and the genetic differentiation between the two populations was statistically significant. Of the 16 primer sets, five were amplified in all three congeneric species M. myriantha, M. rigida and M. tenuis, and eight or nine were amplified in each species. These newly developed microsatellite markers will be used to evaluate genetic diversity and genetic differentiation in M. arnottiana populations and are potentially useful for population genetic studies on congeneric species.
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