BioEnergy Research

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 67–79 | Cite as

A Genetic Study of a Salix Germplasm Resource Reveals New Insights into Relationships Among Subgenera, Sections and Species

  • Sviatlana TrybushEmail author
  • Šárka Jahodová
  • William Macalpine
  • Angela Karp


Genetic relationships among 154 genotypes, including 50 species, held within the UK National Willow Collection were analysed using nine primer combinations in an optimised fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP®) protocol. The AFLP® data resolved relationships at all levels, from discriminating between closely related accessions to differentiating among majority of species, sections and subgenera. The neighbour-joining dendrogram split accessions into three major well-supported clusters, two of which comprised species of the subgenera Vetrix and Salix. Surprisingly, the third (98% bootstrap support) comprised only Salix triandra accessions. The genetic similarity (GS) between S. triandra and Salix or Vetrix was similar (0.39 and 0.40, respectively) and greater than the genetic similarity between Salix and Vetrix (GS = 0.57). Separate clustering of S. triandra is also supported by hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), that partitioned 31.4% of the total variance between these three groups, whereas only 16.3% was partitioned between the two subgenera. These results challenge all current classifications which assign S. triandra to subgenus Salix. Principal coordinate analysis gave corresponding results and facilitated interpretation of relationships among species within sections of the two subgenera, which are discussed. The study included 40 species which have been used in breeding, and the findings will facilitate the choice of parents and interpretation of the results of different crosses, on the basis of more accurate knowledge of genetic relationships. AFLPs® also detected identical genotypes (within the limits of AFLP® error) which should not be used as distinct parents in breeding programmes.


AFLP® Diversity Genetic relationships Salix triandra Willow breeding 



The authors are indebted to Dr. George W. Argus (Curator Emeritus, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada), Prof. Jerzy Zielinski and Dr. Dominik Tomaszewski (Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kórnik) for help with verification of the identity of some of the specimens and assistance with interpretation of the results. We are also extremely grateful to Ken Stott, Rod Parfitt and Kevin Lindegaard (previously at Long Ashton Research Station, UK) for providing background information on the accessions of the NWC and thank Ming Pei, Steve Hanley, Kevin Dawson and Ian Shield (at Rothamsted Research) for helpful comments on the manuscript. Šárka Jahodová is supported by institutional long-term research plan no. AV0Z60050516 from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, project no. 0021620828 from the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic, and Integrated Project ALARM (GOCE-CT-2003-506675) of the FP6 of the European Union. William Macalpine is supported by the UK Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (Contract NF0424). We acknowledge Rothamsted International for funding a Fellowship to Dr. Irina Belyaeva which enabled some morphological assessments of the collection to be carried out. Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the UK. The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees and the editor of this paper for their helpful suggestions.

Supplementary material

12155_2008_9007_MOESM1_ESM.doc (386 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Salix accessions in the UK National Willow Collection used in the study (DOC 375 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sviatlana Trybush
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Šárka Jahodová
    • 2
    • 3
  • William Macalpine
    • 1
    • 4
  • Angela Karp
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Department, Centre for Bioenergy and Climate ChangeRothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  4. 4.Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrůhoniceCzech Republic

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