Pollen flow in Eucalyptus grandis determined by paternity analysis using microsatellite markers
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- Jones, M.E., Shepherd, M., Henry, R. et al. Tree Genetics & Genomes (2008) 4: 37. doi:10.1007/s11295-007-0086-0
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Gene flow by pollen dispersal from forestry plantations containing introduced species, provenances or selected elite breeding material may impact on local native forest by changing the genetic diversity, introducing new genes or gene combinations, or causing the extinction of rare genotypes in adjacent native forest areas. Patterns of pollen flow can be used to assess the risk of genetic pollution of native forest areas from nearby plantations. Pollen flow in an artificial population of Eucalyptus grandis was estimated using molecular markers and paternity analysis. Microsatellite genotyping was used to identify pollen parents of progeny arrays from six mother trees. Of 329 progeny analysed, 178 (54%) were assigned to pollen parents within the population. Pollen parents located within the population were between 0–192 m from the respective mother trees, with an average pollination distance of 57.96 m. Pollination of mother trees was outcrossed, not by nearest neighbours, and displayed a preference for inter-provenance matings within the population. Progeny that could not be assigned pollen parents within the population (46%) were assumed to have resulted from pollen immigration from external sources. These pollen flow parameters provide useful information about the dynamics of pollen movement within E. grandis populations and may be used in risk assessment of gene flow from plantations to adjacent areas of native forest.