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Holtken A.M.,University of Hamburg | Holtken A.M.,Plant Genetic Diagnostics GmbH | Buschbom J.,Johann Heinrich Von Thunen Institute | Katzel R.,Landeskompetenzzentrum Forst Eberswalde LFE
Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitung | Year: 2012

Species integrities are under question for pedunculate, sessile and downy oak since years due to their hybridization ability. The present study clearly shows a limited impact of hybridization on the gene pools of the three oak species and the genetic distinctiveness of the species. Its results are based on analyses of eight markers (nuclear microsatellite loci) in two and more stands of each oak species (table 1). Genetic diversity and structure within and between the three morphologically identified species were described using genetic profiles [figure 1) and summarized using indices of genetic diversity and differentiation (tables 2, 3 and 4). In addition, the gene pool of the three species represented by the present population and species sample was partitioned into reproductive units independently of a priori assumptions using the model-based approach implemented in the program STRUCTURE 2.3.2 {figure 2, table 5). Our results support the following conclusions: the program STRUCTURE allows not only a clustering of species within oaks, but also resolves intraspecific population structure. Population structure is less visible in the common and widespread species Q. robur and Q. petraea in comparison to the rare and scattered Q. pubescens. Downy oak is restricted to extrazonal habitats in Central Europe and, thus, genetic drift will have a larger impact. In sum, the employed gene marker set provides a reliable and decisive basis for the partitioning of stands and single individuals to species and reproductive units, respectively. The present approach can be used for the identification of hybrids and their admixture proportions, the study of stand histories and the selection of valuable gene resources, especially regarding scattered downy oak stands in Central Europe.

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