Next Article in Journal
High Precision Individual Tree Diameter and Perimeter Estimation from Close-Range Photogrammetry
Previous Article in Journal
Regeneration of Native Forest Species in Mainland Portugal: Identifying Main Drivers
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2018, 9(11), 695;

Analysis of Environment-Marker Associations in American Chestnut

Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Goettingen, Büsgenweg 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Southern Institute of Forest Genetics, 23332 Success Road, Saucier, MS 39574, USA
Forest Health Research and Education Center, University of Kentucky, 730 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2219 KB, uploaded 9 November 2018]   |  


American chestnut (Castanea dentata Borkh.) was a dominant tree species in its native range in eastern North America until the accidentally introduced fungus Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr, that causes chestnut blight, led to a collapse of the species. Different approaches (e.g., genetic engineering or conventional breeding) are being used to fight against chestnut blight and to reintroduce the species with resistant planting stock. Because of large climatic differences within the distribution area of American chestnut, successful reintroduction of the species requires knowledge and consideration of local adaptation to the prevailing environmental conditions. Previous studies revealed clear patterns of genetic diversity along the northeast-southwest axis of the Appalachian Mountains, but less is known about the distribution of potentially adaptive genetic variation within the distribution area of this species. In this study, we investigated neutral and potentially adaptive genetic variation in nine American chestnut populations collected from sites with different environmental conditions. In total, 272 individuals were genotyped with 24 microsatellite (i.e., simple sequence repeat (SSR)) markers (seven genomic SSRs and 17 EST-SSRs). An FST-outlier analysis revealed five outlier loci. The same loci, as well as five additional ones, were significantly associated with environmental variables of the population sites in an environmental association analysis. Four of these loci are of particular interest, since they were significant in both methods, and they were associated with environmental variation, but not with geographic variation. Hence, these loci might be involved in (temperature-related) adaptive processes in American chestnut. This work aims to help understanding the genetic basis of adaptation in C. dentata, and therefore the selection of suitable provenances for further breeding efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Castanea dentata; microsatellites; adaptation Castanea dentata; microsatellites; adaptation

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, M.; Nelson, C.D.; Gailing, O. Analysis of Environment-Marker Associations in American Chestnut. Forests 2018, 9, 695.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top