ISSN 10227954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2010, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 546–554. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2010.
Original Russian Text © E.V. Khantemirova, V.L. Semerikov, 2010, published in Genetika, 2010, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 622–630.
Common juniper is dioecious windpollinated spe
cies of the family Cupressaceae. It has specific fruits,
berrylike cones, which are adapted to be dispersed
with the help of birds and other animals. Juniper is
characterized by greatly variable growth form (from
small tree to prostrate shrub) and the presence of many
varieties, the nomenclature of which still remains
uncertain. Farjon  recognized
L. (northern Europe), var.
Pursh (Northern America), var.
(eastern Canada), and var.
Siberia, Central Asia, Far East, Greenland, Iceland,
and western part of North America). The existence of
Nyman in Sicily and in the Mediter
ranean, as well as of var.
(M.Bieb) Parl. in the
Caucasus is not recognized by this author.
The largest number of synonyms is characteristic of
which grows as small shrub with dif
ferent degree prostration. This juniper becomes widely
distributed with rising into the mountains and move
ment northwards. At most, these are the characteristic
features distinguishing this variety from the upright
L. However, habitual char
are greatly variable. In one
habitat, different shrub forms can be found. It was
demonstrated that in Cola Peninsula the growth form
of juniper changes with the elevation above sea level
from sparsely branched shrub of about 1 m height, to
increasingly smaller and multistemmed shrub .
Biological Flora of the British Isles
this juniper is
regarded as a subspecies
(Hook) . In
many records and identification guides it is treated as
the independent species
8]. Furthermore, it is noted that in the northeastern
part of the European Russia, as well as in Ural and
Siberia, this species is found together with
, with which it, probably, hybridizes, forming a large
number of transitional forms [9, 10]. Kapper 
as a form of common juniper
Loud., growing in the mountains and Arctic
regions, is treated by this author as an individual form.
At the same time, Koropachinskii and Vstovskaya 
think that in Siberia typical
grows only in
Tomsk region, while juniper growing in the other parts
of Siberia is
, a species (or, probably, subspe
cies), which never forms a sapling.
Although common juniper has a wide range (on the
territory of Russia it coincides with the range of pine)
, its populations are often fragmentary and sepa
rated from one another by long distances. However, it
seems likely that between these populations there is no
loss of the gene flow, which could result in a decrease
of the population genetic variation. Using AFLP anal
ysis it was demonstrated that even small relict popula
at the south of Great Britain
(some of these populations numbered about 11 plants)
were characterized by high genetic variation . The
high level of interpopulation differentiation reported
in the study cited was probably associated with sub
stantial modern fragmentation of juniper in this region
as a result of anthropogenic influence. At the same
time, RAPD analysis of Scottish populations revealed
low interpopulation differentiation of juniper, con
Genetic Variation of Some Varieties of Common Juniper
L. Inferred from Analysis of Allozyme Loci
E. V. Khantemirova and V. L. Semerikov
Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, 620144 Russia;
Received May 28, 2009
—Using the method of allozyme analysis, genetic variation, diversity, and population structure of
Wild), growing on the territory of Russia,
from Sweden, and
Northern America (Alaska), was investigated. The total level of genetic variation of these varieties was found
to be higher than the values obtained for the other conifers. The population of
from Sakhalin were noticeably different from all other populations examined. Between
the other samples, no substantial genetic differences were observed. These populations were characterized by
weak interpopulation differentiation along with the absence of expressed geographical pattern of the allele
frequency spatial distribution. The only exception was the procumbent form of common juniper from the
high mountain populations of South and North Ural, which was somewhat different from the others.