Allozyme diversity in Macbridea alba (Lamiaceae), an endemic Florida mint
Macbridea alba is a herbaceous perennial mint endemic to the panhandle region of Florida. We used starch gel electrophoresis to describe allozyme diversity and genetic structure in this federally threatened plant. Ten populations were analyzed, with an average sample size of 47 plants (range 41-48 plants) per population. Of the 22 loci analyzed, 11 (50%) were polymorphic, with an average of 36.2% of the loci polymorphic within populations. Gene diversity measures for the species (Hes=0.121) and for the populations (Hep=0.099) were slightly higher than means found for other surveyed endemic plants. Compared to nine previously analyzed woody mints, however, M. alba is genetically depauperate. Little genetic structure was evident within the species, with 92% of the total genetic variation found within populations. Genetic identities between population pairs were high (mean I=0.98). The perennial life habit of M. alba and long-distance pollination by bumblebees may contribute to the maintenance of genetic diversity within this threatened species.