Genetic diversity of <i>Viola cazorlensis</i> Gand., an endemic species of Mediterranean dolomitic habitats: implications for conservation

<div><p><i>Viola cazorlensis</i> is a South Iberian endemic (Spain), which is protected at European level, nationally as well as regionally, and considered vulnerable (VU) in accordance with IUCN criteria. This study has researched the genetic variability of seven representatives of <i>V. cazorlensis</i> populations, both inter- and intra-populationally, through the use of ISSR molecular markers and the sequencing of plastidial intergenic spacers. Results obtained from the ISSR markers indicate that these <i>V. cazorlensis</i> populations are not genetically impoverished, and that no clear genetic structure pattern exists. From the sequencing of plastidial intergenic spacers, the presence of different haplotypes has been observed, which becomes more evident as geographic distance among populations increases. Furthermore, there is a certain gene flow among them, more effective at a nuclear level, which could be mediated by <i>Macroglossum stellatarum</i> pollinator. The results obtained lead to the discussion of a series of conservation measures.</p></div>