Genetic diversity of long-established populations of Elaeis guineensis jacquin (Arecaceae)

Abstract This study aimed to estimate the genetic diversity of three Elaeis guineensis populations in Rio Grande do Norte state, as well as to verify the decreases in effective population size. The population with the highest polymorphism was MAT (Mata) with+ 57 loci (72%), followed by RIA (Riacho) with 54 loci (68%) and HOR (Horta) with 34 loci (43.03%). The RIA population was shown to be the most genetically diverse, with Nei (h = 0.28) and Shannon (I = 0.41) diversity indices. There was high genetic differentiation among populations (AMOVA, analysis of molecular variance = 42%), which was separated into three distinct genetic groups according to a Bayesian analysis. There was a significant population decrease (P < 0.05) for the HOR population in the IAM (infinite allele model) and SMM (stepwise mutation model), and for the RIA population in the IAM. The data obtained in this study may support ex-situ conservation projects for Elaeis guineensis, contributing to the selection of genotypes and their sustainable use.