Successful hybridisation of normally incompatible hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) and eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides)
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Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) belong to the section Populus. Eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides) is a member of the section Aigeiros within the genus Populus. These poplar sections are generally considered to be incompatible. Here, we describe successful hybridisation between these parents, producing an offspring family with 27 individuals. The hybrid character of individuals was proven by genotypes at 16 nuclear microsatellite loci. One individual was suspected to have more than the diploid chromosome number of 2n = 38 due to the observation of more than two alleles at several loci. This individual is a triploid, ascertained by flow cytometry. Two distinct growth classes of tall and dwarf plants were observed in the progeny, reflecting different degrees of postzygotic incompatibility. Two loci linked to the tested microsatellites have an effect on height growth. Some fast-growing individuals were micropropagated to test them for biomass performance together with other clones in field trials.
KeywordsAspen Black poplar Intersectional hybridisation Incompatibility Nuclear microsatellites Populus L.
The authors gratefully acknowledge helpful contributions of an anonymous reviewer to improve the manuscript.
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