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Open AccessArticle

Genetic Consequences of Hybridization in Relict Isolated Trees Pinus sylvestris and the Pinus mugo Complex

1
Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 62-035 Kórnik, Poland
2
Institute of Environmental Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
3
Department of Botany, Kazimierz Wielki University, 85-064 Bydgoszcz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Forests 2020, 11(10), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11101086
Received: 17 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 6 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and the taxa from the P. mugo complex can hybridize in the contact zones and produce fertile hybrids. A unique example of an early Holocene relict population of P. sylvestris and P. uliginosa (a taxon from the P. mugo complex) growing on the tops of Jurassic sandstone rocks is located in Błędne Skały (Sudetes). Phenotypically, there are trees resembling P. sylvestris, P. uliginosa and intermediate forms between them. We expected that some of P. sylvestris and/or P. uliginosa-like trees could be in fact cryptic hybrids resembling one of the parental phenotypes. To address this question, we examined randomly sampled individuals, using a set of plastid (cpDNA), nuclear (nDNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA) markers as well as biometric characteristics of needles and cones. The results were compared to the same measurements of allopatric reference populations of the P. sylvestris and the P. mugo complex (Pinus mugo s.s, P. uncinata and P. uliginosa). We detected cpDNA barcodes of the P. mugo complex in most individuals with the P. sylvestris phenotype, while we did not detect cpDNA diagnostic of P. sylvestris within P. uliginosa-like trees. These results indicate the presence of cryptic hybrids of the P. sylvestris phenotype. We found only three typical P. sylvestris individuals that were clustered with the species reference populations based on needle and cone characteristics. Most trees showed intermediate characteristics between P. sylvestris and P. uliginosa-like trees, indicating intensive and probably long-lasting hybridization of the taxa at this area and subsequent gene erosion of parental species. View Full-Text
Keywords: biostatistics; hybridization; gene flow; genetic variation; molecular markers; morphological variation; plant variation biostatistics; hybridization; gene flow; genetic variation; molecular markers; morphological variation; plant variation
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Sobierajska, K.; Wachowiak, W.; Zaborowska, J.; Łabiszak, B.; Wójkiewicz, B.; Sękiewicz, M.; Jasińska, A.K.; Sękiewicz, K.; Boratyńska, K.; Marcysiak, K.; Boratyński, A. Genetic Consequences of Hybridization in Relict Isolated Trees Pinus sylvestris and the Pinus mugo Complex. Forests 2020, 11, 1086.

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