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Natural hybridization of Yezo and Sakhalin spruce in central Hokkaido, revealed by DNA markers with contrasting modes of inheritance

Aizawa, Mineaki, Yoshimaru, Hiroshi, Ogawa, Hitomi, Goto, Susumu, Kaji, Mikio
Plant species biology 2016 v.31 no.3 pp. 188-195
Picea glehnii, Picea jezoensis, backcrossing, chloroplast DNA, females, forest habitats, genetic markers, hybridization, hybrids, inheritance (genetics), males, microsatellite repeats, mitochondrial DNA, parents, Japan
Yezo spruce (Picea jezoensis var. jezoensis) and Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) occur across Hokkaido and co‐occur in some forest habitats. This leads to the potential for natural hybridization between these two species, which has been shown to occur at low frequencies. The purpose of this study was to identify these hybrids and their possible mating patterns, using various Pinaceae DNA markers with different modes of inheritance. The markers used were maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), paternally inherited chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) and biparentally inherited nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs). Seven putative natural hybrids, four artificially‐crossed F₁ hybrids, four parent plants from each species, and two artificially‐backcrossed hybrids of putative natural hybrids and their parents were analyzed using the diagnostic DNA markers developed in this study. We found Yezo spruce and Sakhalin spruce to be distinct (J and G types, respectively), and the modes of inheritance held true for the two species, as was previously reported to be the case in Pinaceae. Four of the seven putative natural hybrids harbored J‐type cpDNA, G‐type mtDNA and J/G‐type nSSRs, indicating that natural F₁ hybrids are likely to arise from a G (female) × J (male) crossing. One natural hybrid harbored G‐type cpDNA, J‐type mtDNA and J/G‐type nSSRs, which implies that hybrids produced by J (female) × G (male) crossings occur at low frequencies. The two remaining hybrids harbored J‐type cpDNA and mtDNA with either J/G or J/J‐type nSSRs, suggesting that they may be F₂ hybrids resulting from backcrossing between an F₁ hybrid and a Yezo spruce.