Evolution of two closely related Orchid species of Oreorchis

Evolution of two closely related Orchid species of Oreorchis

In an article entitled, “Genetic Diversity in the Common Terrestrial OrchidOreorchis patens and Its Rare Congener Oreorchis coreana: Inference of Species Evolutionary History and Implications for Conservation” published online in J. Heredity, Chung and his six other associates have shown through their allozyme study how the above two cenospecies have evolved, the one confined to Jeju island with narrow variability is on the verge of extinction while the other with a wide range of divergence is adapted to different ecological conditions and firmly established in the Korean peninsula. Their data suggest that the populations O. patens originated from multiple genetically diverse individuals. Furthermore, they are of the opinion that stable mountainous conditions during Quaternary period helped O. patens maintain its diversity. Such genetical diversity is
lacking in the congeneric species O. coreana.
The authors have concluded that due to its rare occurrence and small population sizes showing seemingly genetic uniformity, O. coreana stands a high risk of extinction. In order to save this species from extinction adequate conservation practices should be launched.

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