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Species Identification of Pinus Pollen Found in Belukha Glacier, Russian Altai Mountains, Using a Whole-Genome Amplification Method

1
National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
2
SOKENDAI (The Graduate University of Advanced Studies), Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0193, Japan
3
Field Science Center, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, 232-3 Yomogida, Naruko-onsen, Osaki, Miyagi 989-6711, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(8), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080444
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management of Pine Forests)
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Abstract

Pollen taxa in sediment samples can be identified based on morphology. However, closely related species do not differ substantially in pollen morphology, and accurate identification is generally limited to genera or families. Because many pollen grains in glaciers contain protoplasm, genetic information obtained from pollen grains should enable the identification of plant taxa at the species level. In the present study, species identification of Pinus pollen grains was attempted using whole-genome amplification (WGA). We used pollen grains extracted from surface snow (depth, 1.8–1.9 m) from the Belukha glacier in the summer of 2003. WGA was performed using a single pollen grain. Some regions of the chloroplast genome were amplified by PCR, and the DNA products were sequenced to identify the pollen grain. Pinus includes approximately 111 recognized species in two subgenera, four sections, and 11 subsections. The tree species Pinus sibirica and P. sylvestris are currently found at the periphery of the glacier. We identified the pollen grains from the Belukha glacier to the level of section or subsection to which P. sibirica and P. sylvestris belong. Moreover, we specifically identified two pollen grains as P. sibirica or P. cembra. Fifteen species, including P. sibirica, were candidates for the remaining pollen grain. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollen; DNA; glacier; Pinus; Altai; pollen source pollen; DNA; glacier; Pinus; Altai; pollen source
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Nakazawa, F.; Suyama, Y.; Imura, S.; Motoyama, H. Species Identification of Pinus Pollen Found in Belukha Glacier, Russian Altai Mountains, Using a Whole-Genome Amplification Method. Forests 2018, 9, 444.

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