Genetic evaluation of an endemic plant from Patagonia

Oxalis laciniata Cav. growing in its natural environment.

Oxalis laciniata is endemic to the Patagonia region of South America, inhabiting high mountains and steppe and even growing on the coast. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS by López and Bonasora, the marked polymorphism in this species led the authors to test whether its genetic variability would explain both its morphological variability and its adaptability to different ecological niches. Based on molecular analysis, the authors detected non-random organization of genetic variability. They proposed two refugia and were able to estimate the diversification centre, which coincided with the centre of the distribution. Distribution modelling suggested the possibility of occurrence in the Central Andes, in addition to its known distribution.

Reference

López, A., & Bonasora, M. G. (2017). Phylogeography, genetic diversity and population structure in a Patagonian endemic plant. AoB PLANTS, 9(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plx017