Among population differentiation at nuclear genes in native Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Scotland

W. Wachowiak, G.R. Iason, S. Cavers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the Scottish Highlands, Scots pine is at the north-western extreme of its wide natural distribution. Here, the remaining native populations are patchily distributed in highly variable environments, from the more continental, drier eastern Highlands to the milder, wetter Atlantic Ocean coast. As these pinewoods are the remnants of a naturally established forest, they form a valuable system for analysis of genetic and adaptive variation in heterogeneous environments. Using samples from across the Scottish population, we analysed data from nuclear and mitochondrial genes to assess patterns of within and between population genetic variation. Within population diversity levels were high, and significant genetic differentiation among pairs of Scottish populations at relatively small spatial scales was present at several nuclear loci. At these loci, no differentiation had been found among continental populations, even those separated by large geographic distances. Overall, no clear clustering of Scottish samples was found in population structure analysis suggesting that geographically distant populations with high intra-population nucleotide diversity are not strongly isolated or diverged from each other. Scottish populations lacked a mitotype that is widespread in eastern and north-eastern Europe, indicating that pines from that area may not have participated in the most recent colonisation of the British Isles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • nucleotide diversity
  • population structure
  • genetic differentiation
  • adaptation


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