Great Basin Naturalist


Wildland shrubs have gained considerable attention in recent years due to increasing recognition of their values as animal feed, as wildlife habitat, and for land reclamation. Better management of the shrub resource will be possible through clearer taxonomic identification and better understanding of phylogenetic relationships. This study applied polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and further developed this technique to address genetic relationships among 16 paired shrub species (genera: Artemisia, Chrysothamnus, Atriplex, Ceratoides, Sarcobatus, Purshia, Cowania, and Cercocarpus [Compositae, Chenopodiaceae, Rosaceae]). Cluster analysis of similarity values for total protein and 14 isoenzyme systems gave patterns of species relationships expected from classical morphological grounds with two minor exceptions. Isoenzyme analyses showed promise for solving taxonomic, phylogenetic, and population genetics problems.