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Journal of Heredity

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 101  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 154 - 163

Genealogical Relationship among Members of Selection and Production Populations of Yellow Cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis Oerst.) in the Absence of Parental Information

N Massah, J Wang, J. H Russell, A Van Niejenhuis and Y. A. El Kassaby


We used DNA fingerprinting and pedigree reconstruction to determine the genetic relationship among members of 3 yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis [D. Don] Oerst.) selection populations in the absence of their parental genotypes. Selection population members consisted of the tallest individuals within seedling crops originated from natural stand seed collected from multiple seed donors covering wide areas within 3 distinct locations (phenotypic mass selection). Pairwise relative kinship estimates indicated the presence of extensive coancestry among the selected seedlings, and pedigree reconstruction grouped each selection members into multiple full-sib families of different sizes (1–10) nested within several half-sib families (19–21). The "STRUCTURE" program (Pritchard JK, Stephens M, Donnelly P. 2000. "Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data." Genetics. 155:945–959.) provided a pictorial classification of the 3 selection populations and grouped their individuals into multiple cohorts (9–10). The STRUCTURE program's results corresponded with that of the pedigree reconstruction, indicating that members of the selection populations originated from a subset of the seed donors forming the natural stand seed collections. The species’ silvics, reproductive biology, methods of natural stand seed collection and seedling production, and the high selection intensity applied to form the selection populations contributed to limiting the selection to a subset of the original donor trees. The associated buildup of coancestry in selection and production populations is expected to result in inaccurate estimation of genetic parameters and an unintentional reduction in genetic diversity in reforestation stocks.

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