Low genetic diversity and intrapopulation spatial genetic structure of the Atlantic Forest tree, Esenbeckia leiocarpa Engl. (Rutaceae)


  • G. Forti Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba – Unimep, Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • E.V. Tambarussi Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • P.Y. Kageyama Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • M.A. Moreno Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • E.M. Ferraz Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • B. Ibañes Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • R. Vencovsky Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, University of São Paulo, Av. Padua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, Piracicaba, SP, 13418-900, Brazil
  • G.M. Mori Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética (CBMEG). AV Candido Rondon, 400 – Universidade procde Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas - SP, 13083-875, Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios, Pólo Regional Centro Sul, Rodovia SP127, Km 30, CP 28, Piracicaba, SP CEP13400-970, Brazil
  • A.M. Sebbenn Instituto Florestal de São Paulo, CP 1322, São Paulo, SP, 01059-970, Brazil




Brazilian Atlantic forest, conservation genetics, microsatellite markers, population genetics, tropical tree species


Studies on population genetics are the key to designing effective in situ management plans for tree species, in particular, those subjected to pressure from anthropogenic processes, such as forest fragmentation and logging. To investigate genetic diversity, inbreeding and intrapopulation spatial genetic structure (SGS) in a fragmented population of the insect-pollinated tropical tree, Esenbeckia leiocarpa, we developed specific microsatellite markers for this species and mapped and sampled 100 individuals in a forest plot. Two issues were addressed in particular: (i) the level of genetic diversity, inbreeding and effective population size, (ii) whether intrapopulation spatial genetic structure exists. Among the 14 loci developed, we only used the three that presented polymorphism to estimate the genetic parameters. Genetic diversity was low, whereby the average number of alleles per locus (A) was 3.3 and observed (H0) and expected heterozygosities (He) were 0.336 and 0.298, respectively. The average fixation index was significantly higher than zero (F = 0.112), suggesting inbreeding. Significant SGS was found up to 7 m and between 31 to 38 m, indicating that trees growing within these distances may be related. Estimates of the effective population size indicated that the 100 sampled trees correspond to 14 individuals that are neither related nor inbred. Our results suggest that the microsatellite markers developed in this study are suitable for studies on geneticdiversity and structure, mating systems, gene flow and SGS in this species.


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Research article