Cyanogenic polymorphism as an indicator of genetic diversity in the rare species Eucalyptus yarraensis (Myrtaceae)
AuthorGoodger, JQD; Woodrow, IE
Source TitleFUNCTIONAL PLANT BIOLOGY
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGoodger, J. Q. D. & Woodrow, I. E. (2002). Cyanogenic polymorphism as an indicator of genetic diversity in the rare species Eucalyptus yarraensis (Myrtaceae). FUNCTIONAL PLANT BIOLOGY, 29 (12), pp.1445-1452. https://doi.org/10.1071/FP02027.
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C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
The rare Australian tree Eucalyptus yarraensis Maiden & Cambage is cyanogenic, a quantitative trait potentially indicative of genetic diversity. Cyanogenic plants are capable of releasing cyanide from endogenous cyanide-containing compounds. Cyanide is toxic or deterrent to generalist or non-adapted specialist herbivores. Consequently, cyanogenic plants are afforded an effective means of chemical defense. In this paper we characterize quantitative variation in cyanogenic capability, known as cyanogenic polymorphism, in E. yarraensis for the first time. We show that the cyanogenic glucoside prunasin (R-mandelonitrile-β-D-glucoside) is the only cyanogenic compound in E. yarraensis foliage. We also show that two natural populations of E. yarraensis display extensive intra- and inter-population variation in foliar prunasin concentration. The high prunasin concentrations reported in this paper represent the highest yet recorded for mature eucalypt leaves. The cyanogenic variation could not be attributed to measured physical and chemical parameters, supporting the hypothesis that the variation is genetically based. A preliminary progeny trial also supports this hypothesis, with narrow sense heritability estimated at 1.17 from three half-sibling families. The variation in cyanogenic capability may be a useful tool in the development of a conservation strategy for the species.
KeywordsPlant Physiology ; Nutrition and Physiology ; Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas
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