A potential solution for global energy demands is the use of Poplar, a fast-growing tree with high yields, for biofuels. To get the most out of Poplar plantations, varieties that are the best fit for the conditions—ones with disease resistance or higher yields, for example—are desired.
But do these plantations of new, non-native (exotic) species impact nearby native populations of Poplar? In particular, is the genetic makeup of the native populations being altered by interactions with the exotic species?
In the October issue of the American Journal of Botany (http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/reprint/97/10/1688), Dr. Nathalie Isabel and colleagues tackled these issues by conducting a scientific risk assessment on the introduction of exotic species of Poplar (complex hybrids primarily made up of Populus nigra, P. trichocarpa, and P. maximowiczii) and the resulting impact on three native populations of Poplar species (P. deltoides and P. balsamifera) at two different locations over 3 years.
The researchers monitored gene flow—the passing of genetic information (alleles) between two populations—resulting from spontaneous hybridization between exotic and native populations. By looking for specific DNA signatures, called SNPs, they determined who the father species was for individual offspring. These paternity tests revealed that complex patterns of hybridization were occurring. All five species were capable of producing hybrids with the native populations, but when the native population was large, the native species were more successful; native species represented more than 95% of the parental alleles.
After the initial hybridization, the new genetic makeup may persist in the population through the generations (introgression) or be lost over time. The long-term effects of hybridization "depend on the ability of the hybrids to become established in natural forests and to subsequently reproduce," Isabel said. "Thus, there is a need to monitor multiple steps of the introgression process for poplars."The risk of introgression is likely to be higher for small populations of native Poplars (ex: in disturbed agricultural landscapes) compared to more densely populated areas. This has important implications for further steps (ex: modeling introgression) and the development of regulatory guidelines for the commercial release of plants with novel traits, and for other cases where the rate of gene flow from plantations into natural populations should be kept to a minimum.
CITATION: Patrick G. Meirmans, Manuel Lamothe, Marie-Claude Gros-Louis, Damase Khasa, Pierre Périnet, Jean Bousquet, and Nathalie Isabel (2010). Complex patterns of hybridization between exotic and native North American poplar species. American Journal of Botany 97(10): 1688-1697. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.0900271
The full article in the link mentioned is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary at http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/reprint/97/10/1688. After this date, reporters may contact Richard Hund at email@example.com for a copy of the article.
The Botanical Society of America (www.botany.org) is a non-profit membership society with a mission to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere. It has published the American Journal of Botany (www.amjbot.org) for nearly 100 years. In 2009, the Special Libraries Association named the American Journal of Botany one of the Top 10 Most Influential Journals of the Century in the field of Biology and Medicine.
For further information, please contact the AJB staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Hund | EurekAlert!
Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays
18.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Separating methane and CO2 will become more efficient
18.10.2017 | KU Leuven
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Life Sciences