Genetic evaluation of seeds of highly endangered Pinus uliginosa Neumann from Węgliniec reserve for ex-situ conservation program

Andrzej Lewandowski, Jarosław Burczyk, Witold Wachowiak, Adam Boratyński, Wiesław Prus-Głowacki

Abstract


Peat-bog pine Pinus uliginosa Neumann has become extinct or rare in many parts of Europe. We have investigated the levels of genetic variation and inbreeding in seeds collected from a highly endangered reserve of this species in Poland, using allozymes as genetic markers. Generally, a high level of genetic variation was observed. The mean expected heterozygosity was 0.376, while average (Na) and effective (Ne) numbers of alleles per locus were 2.45 and 1.67, respectively. Nevertheless, we have detected relatively low levels of outcrossing, and potential biparental inbreeding. The population-wide multilocus outcrossing rate was estimated to be 0.706 (±0.091), while the minimum variance mean of single-locus estimates was distinctly lower (ts=0.611). The estimates of outcrossing calculated for individual trees ranged widely from 0.051 to 1.017, indicating the complexity of outcrossing patterns. The investigated population of P. uliginasa from Węgliniec is small and surrounded by extensive forest stands of P. sylvestris. Our three-year records of phenological observations demonstrated that flowering periods for P. uliginosa and P. sylvestris overlap, allowing for cross-pollination. The possibility of P. uliginosa pollination by P. sylvestris creates a potential danger of genetic erosion of the P. uliginosa gene pool. Nonetheless, based on a species specific cpDNA marker we have found that among 533 seedlings of P. uliginosa there were only six seedlings carrying cpDNA marker specific for P. sylvestris, indicating that such hybridization seems to be rare.

Keywords


peat-bog pine; conservation; genetic variation; mating system; hybridization

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