Population fragmentation causes randomly fixed genotypes in populations of Arabidopsis kamchatica in the Japanese Archipelago

Hiroyuki Higashi, Hajime Ikeda, Hiroaki Setoguchi

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Populations of arctic alpine plants likely disappeared and re-colonised several times at the southern edge of their distributions during glacial and interglacial cycles throughout the Quaternary. Range shift and population fragmentation after a glacial period would affect the genetic structure of such plants in southernmost populations. We aimed to elucidate how climatic oscillations influenced the population subsistence of alpine plants in the Japanese Archipelago as one of the southernmost populations, by inferring the genetic structure of Arabidopsis kamchatica subsp. kamchatica and the intraspecific littoral taxon, subsp. kawasakiana. We identified genotypes based on the haplotypes of five nuclear genes and two chloroplast DNA spacers for 164 individuals from 24 populations. Most populations harboured only one private genotype, whereas few polymorphisms were found in each population. Two genetic genealogies were found, suggesting that northern Japanese populations of alpine subsp. kamchatica, subsp. kawasakiana and the northerly subsp. kamchatica in eastern Russia and Alaska clustered and differentiated from populations in central Honshu, western Japan and Taiwan. During climatic oscillations, the genetic structure of extant southernmost populations would have been shaped by strong genetic drift under population fragmentation and randomly fixed to a single genotype among their ancestral polymorphisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis kamchatica
  • Genetic drift
  • Japanese alpine zone
  • Nuclear DNA sequence
  • Phylogeography
  • Population fragmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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