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Screening interspecific hybrids of Populus (P. ciliata × maximowiczii) using AFLP markers


Hybrids of Populus ciliata × maximowiczii are very vigorous and outperform both the parents in growth performance and yield. Genetic evaluation of 24 of these interspecific hybrids along with the two mother trees (Populus ciliata), and five male-parent (Populus maximowiczii) genotypes was carried out using the AFLP marker assay. Eight AFLP primer combinations detected 428 markers, of which 280 (66%) were polymorphic. Genetic relationships within the samples were evaluated by generating the similarity matrix based on Jaccard’s coefficient. The phenetic dendrograms, as well as the PCO plots, separated the hybrids and the two parent species into three distinct clusters. The hybrids grouped closer to the P. ciliata (female parent) cluster as compared to the P. maximowiczii (male parent) cluster. The hybrid cluster contained internal groupings, which correlated to some extent with growth performance. The four best performing hybrids (42m1, 65m1, 23m2, Cm2-5-20/91) formed a distinct sub-cluster. Data from a single primer combination was sufficient for distinguishing the hybrids from the parents and assigning paternity. The hybrids showed 22 markers that were absent in P. ciliata but were monomorphically present in all the hybrids, suggesting outcrossing and common paternity. Further, these 22 markers were found in all the P. maximowiczii genotypes confirming it as the male parent. These male-specific markers can be converted to SCAR markers and used for rapid screening of the P.ciliata × maximowiczii hybrids. The primer combination E-AAC × M-CAA was identified as most suitable for ascertaining true hybridity. AFLP proves to be a useful tool for screening of P. ciliata × maximowiczii hybrids at the early stages of development.

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Authors thank Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, and Dr. T.P. Singh, Director, TERI-School of Advanced Studies, for their support and encouragement. We are grateful to Dr. Stefano Bissoffi and Dr. Pierre Perinet for sending us the P. maximowiczii leaf material used in this study. The Senior Research Fellowship to N. Chauhan and V. Sabharwal from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is duly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to M. Lakshmikumaran.

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Communicated by H.F. Liskens

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Chauhan, N., Negi, M.S., Sabharwal, V. et al. Screening interspecific hybrids of Populus (P. ciliata × maximowiczii) using AFLP markers. Theor Appl Genet 108, 951–957 (2004).

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  • Populus
  • Genetic Similarity
  • AFLP Marker
  • Mother Tree
  • Scar Marker