Diuris population genomics

Conservation of orchid species (Orchidaceae) can be challenging, particularly for a small Diuris group of four species from southeastern Australia. To determine best conservation practices for the four species, Ahrens et al. measured morphological features, and employed Next Generation Sequencing techniques to obtain thousands of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs).

Diuris flower.
Diuris flower.

Morphological features did not align with published descriptions, and SNPs indicated shared genetic signatures among species and populations. These results suggest that conservation of the group as a whole would be a better strategy than focusing on individual species within the Diuris family.

Reference

Ahrens, C. W., Supple, M. A., Aitken, N. C., Cantrill, D. J., Borevitz, J. O., & James, E. A. (2017). Genomic diversity guides conservation strategies among rare terrestrial orchid species when taxonomy remains uncertain. Annals of Botany, 119(8), 1267–1277. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx022