Genetic variation and dispersal of Bryum argenteum and Hennediella heimii populations in the Garwood Valley, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica.
A detailed study was made of the extent of genetic variation within populations of two moss species, Bryum argenteum and Hennediella heimii, from the Garwood Valley in Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) technology was used to analyse over 30 clumps of each species, collected from adjacent sites in five small meltstream drainage channels. Overall, extensive genetic variation was found, with no two samples being identical in either species. For both species, most clumps showed within-clump variation, although generally the shoots from each clump were most closely related to other shoots from that clump, indicating somatic mutation. Of the B. argenteum isolates, most showed distinct clustering corresponding to the five drainage channels, with some clustering within the top, middle or bottom of the channels, and separation of northern and southern sides of the valley. There was some evidence of across-channel dispersal for B. argenteum. For H. heimii, the situation was quite different; there was very little clustering of clumps according to channel from which they were collected. Rather, the isolates appeared to form one continuous population across the five channels, with partial separation of northern and southern sides of the valley. These results are consistent with the predicted means of dispersal of these species in Antarctica: predominantly by water for B. argenteum, and by wind for H. heimii.(Received October 31 1997)
(Accepted June 17 1998)
Key Words: Antarctica; Bryum argenteum; Hennediella heimii; moss; RAPD.
c1 Corresponding author: M. Skotnicki, E-mail email@example.com