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Genetic variability at allozyme markers in sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) populations from northwestern Italy

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Abstract:

Genetic diversity and differentiation of 12 native populations of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) from northwestern Italy were investigated by means of variation detected in 10 polymorphic isozyme systems encoded by 16 loci. The trees showed relatively large genetic variability (mean number of alleles per locus = 2.78, effective number of alleles per locus = 1.47, percentage of polymorphic loci = 96.9, expected heterozygosity = 0.280) but small interpopulational variation (FST = 0.019), suggesting the presence of a single gene pool. A slight excess of heterozygotes was found, and the overall inbreeding coefficient (FIS) was–0.038. There was a positive correlation between the age of the individuals sampled and heterozygosity, suggesting the occurrence of natural selection against homozygotes. No significant correlation was detected between genetic and geographic distances of populations, confirming the lack of any barriers to gene flow. Estimate of the mean effective number of migrants exchanged between populations was 4.399, based on the private alleles method. The contribution of the results in relation to terms of the most appropriate strategies to preserve genetic variability of sycamore and to collect forest reproductive material is discussed.

Les auteurs ont étudié la diversité génétique et la différenciation de 12 populations indigènes d’érable sycomore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) originaires du nord-ouest de l’Italie à l’aide de la variabilité détectée chez 10 systèmes iso-enzymatiques polymorphes codant pour 16 loci. Les arbres affichaient une variabilité génétique relativement grande (nombre moyen d’allèles par locus = 2,78, nombre effectif d’allèles par locus = 1,47, pourcentage de loci polymorphes = 96,9, hétérozygotie espérée = 0,280) mais la différenciation de population était faible (FST = 0,019), indiquant la présence d’un bassin génique unique. Un léger excès d’hétérozygotes a été remarqué et le coefficient de consanguinité global FIS était de –0,038. Il y avait une corrélation positive entre l’âge des individus échantillonnés et l’hétérozygotie, indiquant la présence de sélection naturelle défavorable aux homozygotes. Il n’y avait pas de corrélation significative entre les distances génétiques et géographiques séparant les populations, confirmant ainsi l’absence de barrières pouvant limiter le flux génique. L’estimation du nombre moyen effectif d’individus échangés entre les populations était de 4,399, en se basant sur la méthode des allèles privés. Les auteurs discutent des implications de leurs résultats sur les conditions particulières des stratégies les plus appropriées pour préserver la diversité génétique de l’érable sycomore et orienter la récolte des propagules et semences.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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