Erigeron kachinensis, the Kachina daisy, is a rare species restricted to canyons in southeastern Utah. The species is known to exhibit low fecundity due to low percent fertilization of ovules and high percent abortion of fertilized ovules. Previous reproductive studies suggest that low fecundity is a consequence of small population size and inbreeding depression. This study examines genetic diversity within and among populations of E. kachinensis in Natural Bridges National Monument using enzyme electrophoresis. Field populations are found to have significantly different morphologies. However, morphological differences were less pronounced among populations grown in the greenhouse. The Kachina daisy exhibits levels of genetic variability in its populations similar to that of other outcrossed species. Genetic diversity statistics demonstrate that only 22.8% of genetic variation is distributed among populations. Genetic distance could not be correlated with geographic distance. Most of the populations showed significant deviation of fixation indices from zero for multiple loci. Observation of genotype frequencies demonstrates that populations are fixing on different genotypes and may be experiencing initial stages of genetic drift. Mean observed heterozygosity was 0.166 and was found to increase with increasing size and/or age in populations.
Allphin, Loreen and Windham, Michael D.
"Morphological and genetic variation among populations of the rare Kachina daisy (Erigeron kachinensis) from southeastern Utah,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 62
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol62/iss4/4