Hybridization in contact zone between temperate European pine species

Wachowiak, Witold; Żukowska, Weronika B.; Wójkiewicz, Błażej; Cavers, Stephen; Litkowiec, Monika. 2016 Hybridization in contact zone between temperate European pine species. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 12 (3), 48. 12, pp.

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Hybridization studies are important to advance our understanding of the interspecific gene flow and its evolutionary consequences in closely related species. Hybridization and admixture patterns were assessed in a contact zone and reference populations of European pine species using sequence data from 26 nuclear genes and a species-diagnostic cpDNA marker. Reference populations formed three distinct genetic clusters comprising Pinus sylvestris, Pinus mugo/Pinus uliginosa, and Pinus uncinata. Evidence of population structure was found only in P. uliginosa. Based on phenotypic characteristics and molecular data, we identified five groups of individuals in the contact zone in Poland, comprising forms of the parental species and intermediates that were most probably the result of interspecific crosses. A combination of nuclear gene sequence data and a diagnostic organelle marker were used to show that hybridization is frequent in the contact zone and results in hybrid trees with distinct phenotypic identity. The influence of selection in maintaining hybrid phenotypes in environments unsuited to parental species was inferred from nucleotide polymorphism data. A lack of admixture in reference populations suggests that hybridization has not occurred during post-glacial migration and so the contact zone represents a distinct, active example of ongoing evolution. Pine populations in this zone will be a valuable system for studying the genetic basis of hybrid advantage in environmental conditions untypical of pure parental species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 1614-2942
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: local adaptation, hybridization, molecular markers, natural selection, speciation
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 05 Aug 2016 11:41 +0 (UTC)

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