Genetic differentiation between clone collections and natural populations of European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) in turkey

ÇİFTÇİ A., Karatay H., Kucukosmanoglu F., Karahan A., KAYA Z.

TREE GENETICS & GENOMES, vol.13, no.3, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11295-017-1154-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


The European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) is an ecologically and economically important tree species for Turkey. The important and major genetic resources of species for future breeding and ex situ conservation purposes have been archived in a clone bank in Ankara by selecting clones from natural populations and old plantations throughout Turkey. There is no study to date assessing genetic composition these materials. Two-hundred-thirty-three P. nigra clones from six geographic region of Turkey (clone collection populations), and 32 trees from two natural populations (Tunceli and Melet) were genotyped by using 12 nuclear microsatellite DNA markers. There were nine clones which duplicated in various frequencies. The analysis carried out with removal of the duplicated clones revealed a moderately high genetic diversity in studied populations. The observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.59 in Tunceli natural to 0.69 in Central Anatolia clone collection populations. In general, there was excess of heterozygosity in the studied populations. Populations composed of clone collections were significantly differentiated from natural populations (F-ST = 0.17), while there was little differentiation among those populations in the clone collection (F-ST = 0.03). Two distantly located natural populations with small sizes also differed from each other (F-ST = 0.17). Genetic structure analysis revealed two distinct groups (clone collection vs natural populations) with very high membership values (>92%). Clone collection populations had high level of admixture while natural populations had homogenous genetic structure. The presence of large number of clonal duplication, reduced genetic differentiation, and high level of admixture in clone collection populations indicate that genetic resources of European black poplar were highly degraded through genetic erosion and pollution caused by intensive cultural practices and extensive dispersal of clonal materials. To understand genetic diversity and its structural pattern thoroughly in the six clone collection populations, a further study with extensive and systematic sampling of European black poplar populations in major river ecosystems in Turkey will be useful.