Fine-scale spatial genetic structure in a predominantly selfing plant: Role of seed and pollen dispersal

S. Volis, M. Zaretsky, I. Shulgina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We present a study of fine-scale spatial genetic structure (SGS) and assess the impact of seed and pollen dispersal on the pattern of genetic diversity in the predominantly selfing Hordeum spontaneum. The study included (1) direct measurement of dispersal in a controlled environment, and (2) analyses of SGS and estimation of the ratio of pollen to seed flow in three natural populations sampled in linear transects at fixed increasing inter-plant distances. Analysis of SGS with 10 nuclear SSRs showed in all three populations a significant autocorrelation for the distance classes of 1 or 2 m and a negative linear relationship between kinship coefficients, calculated for pairs of individuals, and logarithm of geographical distance between members of the pairs. Major seed dispersal (95%) was found to be within 1.2 m from the mother plant. Pollen flow, estimated from the comparison of nuclear and chloroplast variation, was spatially limited as much as was seed dispersal, and tended to be overestimated when measured at spatial scales exceeding that of SGS. We conclude that combined effects of selfing, occasional outcrossing, localized seed dispersal and high plant density create an equilibrium between drift and gene flow in this species resulting in SGS at a very fine spatial scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-393
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • gene flow
  • neighborhood size
  • pollen flow
  • spatial genetic structure
  • wild barley

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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