Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 127–136 | Cite as

Wild genetic diversity preservation in a small-sized first generation breeding population of Allanblackia floribunda (Clusiaceae)

  • Alain R. AtanganaEmail author
  • Jean Beaulieu
  • Damase P. Khasa
Original Paper


Founder group size is of prime importance in tree breeding programs. We determined whether sampling 20-plus trees for breeding in Allanblackia floribunda, a tropical forest tree species that has been recently enrolled in tree improvement program for fruit and seed production, would affect neutral genetic diversity and inbreeding level in both breeding and production populations. Using eight informative microsatellite loci, we: (a) assessed the nuclear genetic diversity of ten natural populations, and of the breeding population in the humid forest zone of Cameroon; (b) investigated temporal effective-size fluctuations in A. floribunda natural populations, with a view to identifying the role of past demographic events in the genetic structure of the studied species; and (c) tested the hypothesis that genetic diversity in a founder group of 20 individuals is not different from that existing in the wild. The eight loci were variable. High levels of genetic diversity (A = 4.96; H E = 0.59) and moderate differentiation (R ST = 0.061) were found within and among populations in wild stands. High genetic distances existed between populations \( \left( {{\text{average chord distance}} = 0.{\text{2769}} \pm 0.00{\text{554}}} \right) \). Eight of the ten surveyed populations showed signs of deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium, suggesting Pleistocene population bottlenecks and fluctuations in effective population size. Mantel tests did not reveal any relationships between genetic and geographic distances. A neighbor-joining dendrogram showed a population structure that could be explained by historical factors. The hypothesis tested has been accepted. However, a slight increase in inbreeding was observed in the breeding population.


Genetic resources conservation Genetic variation Inbreeding Microsatellite loci Tallow-tree Tree breeding 



Financial support was jointly provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to A.R.A. and D.P.K (Discovery grant), and by the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre to J.B. The World Agroforestry Centre assisted in leaf sample collection in Cameroon. We thank André Gagné, Sauphie Senneville (CEF) and Vincent Bourret (Université Laval) for their technical assistance during lab work. Dr. Bill Parsons (CEF) helped improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain R. Atangana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean Beaulieu
    • 2
  • Damase P. Khasa
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Forest Research (CEF), Faculty of Forestry and GeomaticsUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Natural Resources CanadaCanadian Wood Fibre CentreQuebecCanada

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