Siberian dwarf pine, or Japanese stone pine, Pinus pumila (Pall.) Regel is widespread in eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East; the species is bird-dispersed and has a unique crawling or shrub living form. A mixed mating system (predominant outcrossing with self-pollination and matings of close relatives) leads to the formation of partly inbred progenies in P. pumila, as in the majority of other conifers. The question arises as to whether inbred individuals persist in the reproductive part of a population, which can have negative genetic consequences. The ADH, FDH, FEST, GDH, GOT, IDH, LAP, MNR, MDH, PEPCA, 6-PGD, PGI, PGM, SKDH, and SOD isozyme systems were analyzed to study the dynamics of heterozygosity in four P. pumila natural populations from the Pacific region, optimal for the species. Samples were collected in northern Koryakia, southern Kamchatka (two samples), and the Kunashir Island (Kurils). Wright’s fixation index was used to estimate the level of inbreeding in embryos from dormant seeds resulting from open pollination and in maternal plants. A substantial level of inbreeding (F IS = 0.124−0.342) was observed in the embryo samples but not in three out of the four adult samples. The inbreeding level at the reproductive age was high only in the sample from Koryakia, which can be explained by a relatively young age of plants in the population frequently affected by fires. A general increase in heterozygosity in the course of ontogeny, characteristic of other conifers as well, was attributed to elimination of inbred progenies and by balancing selection in favor of heterozygotes, which is a key factor maintaining allozyme polymorphism in populations.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2006
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