Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (1): 61-69.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00007

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phenotypic diversity of pods and seeds in natural populations of Gleditsia sinensis in southern China

LI Wei, LIN Fu-Rong, ZHENG Yong-Qi*, and LI Bin   

  1. Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
  • Received:2012-07-12 Revised:2012-11-19 Online:2013-01-01 Published:2013-01-15
  • Contact: ZHENG Yong-Qi


Aims Gleditsia sinensis is an endangered plant endemic to China. Our objectives were to determine 1) the phenotypic variation of pods and seeds in natural populations and 2) the relationship between phenotypic variation of natural population and different distribution areas in G. sinensis.
Methods Field investigation and analysis of the natural distribution of G. sinensis in southern China led to our selection of six pod characters and five seed traits from 10 populations. We examined morphological diversity among and within populations based on analysis of eleven phenotypic traits. Variance analysis, multi-comparison and correlation analysis were used to analyze experimental results.
Important findings Analysis of variance for all traits showed significant differences among and within populations. There was significant positive correlation between the pod, the seed and seed weight. The variation of pod traits within and among the populations was larger than those of seed traits. The mean phenotypic differentiation coefficient for the eleven traits was 20.42%, and the variation within populations (32.28%) was higher than that among populations (7.19%), which indicated that the variance within population was the main part of the phenotypic variation of the species. The range of variation of coefficient of variance (CV) among 11 traits was 4.55%–18.38%, and the average was 11.20%. The CV of pod within populations (14.75%) was higher than seed (6.95%), which means that the seed has higher stability. Most of the pod and seed traits were positively correlated. Both the seed and the pod were shown to have west-east variation at constant latitude. These findings offer basic data for further study of genetic breeding and conservation biology of this species.