Variation in the endospermal protein patterns of seeds amongst and between inland and coastal populations of the dune building grass Leymus arenarius was examined in Iceland. Seeds were collected from six coastal populations and five inland populations in Iceland. Endospermal proteins (prolamins) of seeds were extracted with Tris-buffered 2-propanol (50%) and β-mercaptoethanol (0.5% v/v). We used 8% and 12% sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to separate the prolamin protein bands, which were stained with Coomassie Brilliant Blue R. Coastal populations were differentiated from inland populations on the basis of high frequency of high molar weight (HMW) (110 - 150 kg mol−1) prolamins. Coastal populations had significantly higher proportions of their seed with more than two HMW prolamins, than those of inland populations. Subtle differences were found among the HMW prolamins of coastal and inland populations indicating limited intrapopulation variation. The dynamic environment of sand dunes probably influences the genetic composition of these populations. The results suggest that seeds of the inland and coastal populations should be treated separately in sand dune reclamation and restoration works.
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Vol. 10 • No. 1