Glucosinolate polymorphism in wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) influences the structure of herbivore communities
We examined variation at four isozyme and seven microsatellite loci in natural populations of Brassica oleracea L. on the coast of Dorset. All loci were polymorphic, and the diversity index of isozyme loci was similar to that of the microsatellites. Both microsatellites and isozymes showed significant spatial differentiation of genetic variation, but the scale differed between the marker types. Significant non-random mating at isozyme loci was detected within small groups of about five plants, in which adjacent individuals were separated by less than 5 m. On the other hand, non-random mating at microsatellite loci was only detected within the Dorset region as a whole. FST was significant for all loci and there was evidence of isolation by distance at both microsatellite and isozyme loci. From these data we infer that there is low but significant amounts of gene flow among B. oleracea populations in Dorset. The differences in the genetic structure between the two types of marker may be due to higher mutation rates at the microsatellite loci; however, the data suggest that stepwise gain or loss of single repeat units is not the principal mechanism.