Decoupling of Sexual Reproduction and Genetic Diversity in the Female-Biased Mojave Desert MossSyntrichia caninervis(Pottiaceae)

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If sexual reproduction is necessary for maintaining genotypic diversity, then plant populations lacking sex might be expected to exhibit less genotypic diversity than sexually reproducing populations. This pattern could be particularly pronounced in mosses of harsh environments, where haploid gametophytes persist in the apparent absence of sex, presumably through vegetative cloning. Here we compare genetic diversity in four Mojave Desert populations of the moss Syntrichia caninervis to assess the degree to which sexual reproduction is associated with genotypic diversity. This study helps define the role of reproductive modes in producing and maintaining genetic diversity.


Bryophytes; clonal; genetic diversity; Microsatellites; moss; Syntrichia caninervis

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