Genetic Diversity in the Vietnamese Endemic and Endangered Plant Cycas Fugax (Cycadaceae)
Cycas fugax (Cycadaceae) is a critically endangered species endemic to Vietnam, and only found in several small populations. The genetic variation of existing populations in the wild and garden cultivated populations was investigated. RAPD and RAMP markers were used to measure the genetic variation within and between four geographically distributed populations. A modified CTAB protocol yielded pure and high quality DNA from fibrous and mature leaf material. The results showed low genetic diversity at the population level, and a high degree of genetic differentiation between populations The characteristics of low genetic diversity were attributed to several biological and evolutionary factors (i.e. genetic drift, inbreeding and limited gene flow between populations). The research findings should be useful for the proposal of addressing and producing a management plan directed towards the conservation of the species.
Keywords - Endangered plant, conservation genetics, Cycas fugax, genetic diversity, RAPD, RAMP.