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Rating Introgression between Lodgepole and Jack Pine at the Individual Tree Level Using Morphological Traits

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Introgressive hybridization between species generates novel gene combinations and phenotypes. We required an accessible, objective method of rating introgression between lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia [Engelm.] Critchfield) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) for individual trees where their ranges overlap in Canada for use in another study on host species effects on resistance to an eruptive herbivore that has recently expanded its range. We adapted, simplified, and fully quantified a morphological index developed to rate introgression of pine populations and applied it to individual trees. In addition to principal component analysis (PCA), we also used discriminant function analysis (DFA), a potentially more powerful method given a priori knowledge of parent taxa, to generate introgression ratings. Among-tree variation in morphological traits and introgression was high at sites within the hybrid zone but very low at pure parent sites. PCA and DFA produced similar introgression ratings at the stand level, but ratings differed substantially for some individual trees. Certain morphological traits may be omitted from both PCA and DFA with little impact on stand-level ratings. The discriminant functions presented here are based on easy-to-measure, fully quantifiable morphological traits and can be used by other researchers to produce relative introgression ratings for lodgepole and jack pine. The approach may also be applied to other plant hybrid systems.
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Keywords: Pinus banksiana; Pinus contorta; hybridization; introgressive hybridization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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