Genetic differentiation between clone collections and natural populations of European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) in turkey

  • Asiye Ciftci
  • Hüseyin Karatay
  • Filiz Kücükosmanoğlu
  • Alptekin Karahan
  • Zeki Kaya
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Germplasm Diversity


The European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) is an ecologically and economically important tree species for Turkey. The important and major genetic resources of species for future breeding and ex situ conservation purposes have been archived in a clone bank in Ankara by selecting clones from natural populations and old plantations throughout Turkey. There is no study to date assessing genetic composition these materials. Two-hundred-thirty-three P. nigra clones from six geographic region of Turkey (clone collection populations), and 32 trees from two natural populations (Tunceli and Melet) were genotyped by using 12 nuclear microsatellite DNA markers. There were nine clones which duplicated in various frequencies. The analysis carried out with removal of the duplicated clones revealed a moderately high genetic diversity in studied populations. The observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.59 in Tunceli natural to 0.69 in Central Anatolia clone collection populations. In general, there was excess of heterozygosity in the studied populations. Populations composed of clone collections were significantly differentiated from natural populations (F ST = 0.17), while there was little differentiation among those populations in the clone collection (F ST = 0.03). Two distantly located natural populations with small sizes also differed from each other (F ST = 0.17). Genetic structure analysis revealed two distinct groups (clone collection vs natural populations) with very high membership values (>92%). Clone collection populations had high level of admixture while natural populations had homogenous genetic structure. The presence of large number of clonal duplication, reduced genetic differentiation, and high level of admixture in clone collection populations indicate that genetic resources of European black poplar were highly degraded through genetic erosion and pollution caused by intensive cultural practices and extensive dispersal of clonal materials. To understand genetic diversity and its structural pattern thoroughly in the six clone collection populations, a further study with extensive and systematic sampling of European black poplar populations in major river ecosystems in Turkey will be useful.


Populus nigra Clone collection Natural population Microsatellite marker Genetic diversity Genetic differentiation 



This study has been funded by The Scientific and Technological Council of Turkey (project number TOVAG-110O570) and The General Directorate of Forestry, Turkish Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.

Data archiving statement

The data used in the study have been formatted according to the requirements of Species Database of Tree Genes ( The data will be deposited in Tree Genes on acceptance.

Supplementary material

11295_2017_1154_Fig7_ESM.jpg (78 kb)

(JPEG 77 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Southeastern Anatolia Forest Research InstituteElazığTurkey
  3. 3.Poplar and Fast Growing Species Research InstituteIzmitTurkey
  4. 4.General Directorate of ForestryMinistry of Forestry and Water AffairsAnkaraTurkey

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