D. Don (Liliaceae) is an endangered perennial herb, distributed primarily in SW China and the Himalayas. Its bulb, chuanbeimu (in Chinese), is an important traditional Chinese medicine that is used in antitussive, expectorant and antihypertensive drugs. In this study, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to examine genetic diversity and structure of F. cirrhosa
in SW China and explore the effect of human-harvesting on the wild resource at molecular level. Using two primer combinations, a total of 161 bands were generated, of which 148 (91.93%) were polymorphic. Despite overharvesting in the last decades, F. cirrhosa
has maintained relatively high genetic diversity at the population level (PPB = 74.95%, H E = 0.2704, S = 0.4019). The genetic differentiation among the nine sampled populations is estimated as G ST = 0.2771 and Φ ST = 0.2533.
This relatively high genetic variation could be due to its evolutionary history and special life history traits. Although human collection can result in decreased wild population number and size, it has not shown a significant loss of genetic variation in F. cirrhosa
. Mantel test showed a significant relationship between genetic distance and geographic distance (r = 0.4515, p = 0.006). On the UPGMA tree, grouping of populations corresponded with floristic division. Based on findings and its reproductive features, in-situ conservation is suggested as a priority for conservation of F. cirrhosa
. Scientific harvesting strategies, domestication and cultivation would improve sustainable utilization and protect this important wild resource.