Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 15:16 | Cite as

Intraspecific discrimination study of wild cherry populations from North-Western Turkey by DNA barcoding approach

  • Selin Gül Ünsal
  • Yelda Özden Çiftçi
  • Burcu Uzan Eken
  • Ercan Velioğlu
  • Gabriele Di Marco
  • Angelo GismondiEmail author
  • Antonella Canini
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Germplasm Diversity


Wild cherry (Prunus avium L.) is a plant widely distributed around the world that possesses a great economic value. Indeed, it represents both a fruit source and one of the most important European hardwood species. For this reason, in order to obtain information about Turkish authoctonous P. avium germplasm and favor wood management policies and preservation strategies, we investigated the phylogenetic relationships existing among seven wild cherry populations (a total of 139 individuals) located in Northern Turkey using DNA barcoding. For each specimen, in detail, we sequenced a nuclear one (ITS) and two plastidial (trnH-psbA and matK) genes, to identify nucleotide polymorphisms, hypervariable genetic regions, and mutation events. Applying neighbor-joining method and genetic structure analysis, a high rate of crossbreeding among stands was revealed, except for one population (Gölcük) whose molecular profile was less similar to the others. In general, we observed that ITS was the most informative marker, suggesting it as a good candidate for P. avium intraspecific study. We conclude that DNA barcode technique, usually applied for species identification, may be also used as a scientific tool for the detection of plant biodiversity at population level.


ITS matK Population genetics Prunus avium trnH-psbaA Phylogenetics 



The authors want to thank Prof. Ahu Altınkut Uncuoğlu and Dr. Ezgi Çabuk Şahin for their great contribution in data analysis and Miss Sophie Gart who revised the English form of this manuscript.

Data archiving statement

Genetic data were registered in GenBank database. ID number of each deposited sequence, with relative details, was reported in Supplemental Material - Table S1 and copied below.





Abant Population (A)




Molla Fenari Population (B)




Yedigöller Population (C)




Düzce Population (D)




Melen Population (E)




Kefken Population (F)




Gölcük Population (G)




Author contribution statement

AG, AC YOC, and EV designed research; SGU performed research; BUK carried out the sampling; EV authorized the sampling; SGU, AG, and GDM analyzed data; SGU and AG wrote the paper; AC provided financial support; all authors edited, revised, and provided comments to the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11295_2019_1323_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 4367 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Basic SciencesGebze Technical UniversityKocaeliTurkey
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Republic of Turkey General Directorate of ForestryPoplar and Rapidly Developing Forest Trees Research InstituteKocaeliTurkey

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