Population Genetics and Speciation in the Plant Genus Silene (section Elisanthe)

Harper, Andrea Louise (2010). Population Genetics and Speciation in the Plant Genus Silene (section Elisanthe). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis is concerned with speciation and population genetics in the plant genus Silene (section Elisanthe). The introductory chapter is a literature review covering characteristics of the species studied, and the current literature on their evolutionary dynamics and population genetics. The second and third chapters cover techniques used in all experiments, such as DNA extraction, sequencing and genotyping protocols, and explain the rationale behind the initial experimental design. The fourth chapter focuses on the multi-locus analysis of autosomal gene sequences from S. latifolia and S. dioica. The relationship between the two species was investigated using various analyses such as isolation modeling and admixture analysis providing estimates of evolutionary distance and extent of historical gene flow. The maintenance of the species despite frequent hybridization at present-day hybrid zones is discussed. The fifth chapter discusses S. diclinis, a rare endemic found only in Valencia, Spain. The nature of population structuring and the evolutionary history of this species were investigated using a multilocus approach incorporating individuals from S. diclinis populations. The causes of the restricted distribution and low population size of this species is discussed The concluding chapter discusses how the species evolved from a common ancestor amidst changing climatic and environmental conditions.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Biosciences
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/435


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