Conservation Genetics of Two Highly Endangered and Poorly Known Species of Zamia (Zamiaceae: Cycadales) in Colombia

Arturo Aristizábal, Dino J. Tuberquia, Mariá José Sanín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Genetic diversity is key in providing the variation needed to face stochastic change. Increased habitat loss alters population size and dynamics posing serious threats to the conservation of wild species. Colombia has undergone massive deforestation over the last century, but harbors extraordinary high species diversity of genus Zamia (Cycadales); however, most of the species are under threat. In this study, we targeted the largest accessible remaining populations of 2 closely related species growing as endemics in the Magdalena Valley region of Colombia. We successfully transferred the SSR loci used in previous Zamia studies to these species. In total, we amplifed 13 microsatellite loci in 3 wild populations, aiming at: 1) assessing genetic diversity and 2) understanding if the structure found between the 3 populations re?ected species and population boundaries due to ecological and historical genetic isolation. We found that the actual population size does not re?ect population genetic diversity with a small population (Perales) harboring the highest genetic diversity. In addition, all populations are highly structured regardless of species containment, all showing signs of genetic isolation. Given the high degree of ecological threat, and the inherent biological traits of Cycads, we provide information regarding the prioritization of populations for ex situ management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 11 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic diversity
  • genetic structure
  • Magdalena River
  • population genetics
  • Zamia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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