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Journal Article

Population differentiation in randomly amplified polymorphic DNA of red-cockaded wood peckers Picoides borealis

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Haig, S. M., Clemson, S. C., Rhymer, J. M., & Heckel, D. G. (1994). Population differentiation in randomly amplified polymorphic DNA of red-cockaded wood peckers Picoides borealis. Molecular Ecology, 3(6), 581-595. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.1994.tb00089.x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-A9F4-A
Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) phenotypes generated by 13 primers were scored for 101 individuals in 14 populations of the endangered red‐cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis. Although no population‐specific markers were found, the frequencies of several markers differed significantly among populations. Application of the recently developedamova method (analysis of molecular variance; Excoffier, Smouse & Quattro 1992) showed that more than 90% of phenotypic variance occurred among individuals within populations; of the remaining variance, half was attributed among groups of geographically adjacent populations and half among populations within those groups. The statistical significance of these patterns was supported by Monte Carlo sampling simulations and permutation tests. Estimation of allele frequencies from phenotypes provided somewhat weaker evidence for population structure, although among‐population variance in allele frequencies was detectable (Fst= 0.19; x2169= 509.3, P < 0.0001). Upgma cluster analyses based on Rogers' (1972) genetic distance revealed grouping of some geographically proximate populations. A Mantel test indicated a positive (r = 0.16), although not significant, correlation between geographic and genetic distances. We compared a subset of our RAPD data with data from a previous study that used allozymes (Stangel, Lennartz & Smith 1992). RAPD (n= 75) and allozyme (n= 245) results based on samples from the same ten populations showed similar patterns. Our study indicates that RAPDs can be helpful in differentiating populations at the phenotypic level even when small sample sizes, estimation bias, and inability to test for Hardy‐Weinberg equilibrium complicate the genotypic interpretation. Lack of large differences among populations of red‐cockaded woodpeckers may allow flexibility in overpopulation translocations, provided factors such as habitat preference, latitudinal direction of translocation, and status of donor populations are considered.