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Indications of Genetic Admixture in the Transition Zone between Fagus sylvatica L. and Fagus sylvatica ssp. orientalis Greut. & Burd

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Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, University of Goettingen, Büsgenweg 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2
Molecular Biology and Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace, University Campus, Dragana, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
3
School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
4
Center for Integrated Breeding Research (CiBreed), University of Goettingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(6), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11060090
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
Two subspecies of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) can be found in southeast Europe: Fagus sylvatica ssp. sylvatica L. and Fagus sylvatica ssp. orientalis (Lipsky) Greut. & Burd. (Fagus orientalis Lipsky). In a previous study, based on genetic diversity patterns and morphological characters, indications of hybridization between both subspecies were found in northeastern Greece, a known contact zone of F. sylvatica and F. orientalis. Nevertheless, potential genetic admixture has not been investigated systematically before. Here, we investigated genetic diversity and genetic structure of 14 beech populations originating from Greece and Turkey as well as of two reference F. sylvatica populations from Germany based on nine expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers. Very low genetic differentiation was detected among F. sylvatica populations (mean GST: 0.005) as well as among F. orientalis populations (mean GST: 0.008), but substantial differentiation was detected between populations of the two subspecies (mean GST: 0.122). Indications for hybridization between both subspecies were revealed for one population in Greece. One of the genetic markers showed specific allele frequencies for F. sylvatica and F. orientalis and may be used as a diagnostic marker in future studies to discriminate both subspecies. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybridization; genetic diversity; microsatellites; Fagaceae; forest; beech; diagnostic marker hybridization; genetic diversity; microsatellites; Fagaceae; forest; beech; diagnostic marker
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Müller, M.; Lopez, P.A.; Papageorgiou, A.C.; Tsiripidis, I.; Gailing, O. Indications of Genetic Admixture in the Transition Zone between Fagus sylvatica L. and Fagus sylvatica ssp. orientalis Greut. & Burd. Diversity 2019, 11, 90.

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