STANFORD, ALICE M.*, LAUREL ROYER, CHARMAINE BELLOT, LOI'Y MUSTAFA, and NACHET WILLIAMS. Division of Science and Mathematics, University of the Virgin Islands, 2 John Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, VI 00802. - Genetic diversity of a rare Virgin Islands' endemic, Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae).
During colonization (circa 1625), wide scale deforestation of the
Virgin Islands devastated native plant populations. Some species have
since begun to recover, while others have become extinct and still
others remain rare. One such plant is Solanum conocarpum Dunal
in Poir. (Solanaceae), an extremely rare shrub believed to be extant
only on the island of Saint John in the United States Virgin Islands.
In recent years, only four individuals (and no seedlings) have been
found in the wild. As the first stage of a project analyzing the
genetic diversity of rare Virgin Islands plants, we are using ten
randomly selected 10-mer primers to perform RAPD analysis on S.
conocarpum. We have detected a relatively high level diversity
among the four extant individuals of the species. This diversity
indicates that the existing plants may be the remnants of multiple
populations of the species
Key words: Solanum conocarpum Solanaceae Virgin Islands RAPD