Targeted capture to assess neutral genomic variation in the narrow-leaf hopbush across a continental biodiversity refugium

Matthew J. Christmas, Ed Biffin, Martin F. Breed, Andrew J. Lowe

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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The Adelaide geosyncline, a mountainous region in central southern Australia, is purported to be an important continental refugium for Mediterranean and semi-arid Australian biota, yet few population genetic studies have been conducted to test this theory. Here, we focus on a plant species distributed widely throughout the region, the narrow-leaf hopbush, Dodonaea viscosa ssp. angustissima, and examine its genetic diversity and population structure. We used a hybrid-capture target enrichment technique to selectively sequence over 700 genes from 89 individuals across 17 sampling locations. We compared 815 single nucleotide polymorphisms among individuals and populations to investigate population genetic structure. Three distinct genetic clusters were identified; a Flinders/Gammon ranges cluster, an Eastern cluster, and a Kangaroo Island cluster. Higher genetic diversity was identified in the Flinders/Gammon Ranges cluster, indicating that this area is likely to have acted as a refugium during past climate oscillations. We discuss these findings and consider the historical range dynamics of these populations. We also provide methodological considerations for population genomics studies that aim to use novel genomic approaches (such as target capture methods) on non-model systems. The application of our findings to restoration of this species across the region are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41367
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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  • semi-arid biota
  • Australia
  • Adelaide Geosyncline
  • plant refuges


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