AFLP markers demonstrate local genetic differentiation between two indigenous oak species [ Quercus robur L. and Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.] in Flemish populations

Theor Appl Genet. 2002 Aug;105(2-3):431-439. doi: 10.1007/s00122-002-0920-6. Epub 2002 May 31.


The nuclear genetic variation within and between four sessile ( Q. petraea) and six pedunculate ( Q. robur) autochthonous Flemish oak populations was investigated with AFLP markers. One sessile and one pedunculate oak population were additionally screened for detailed leaf characteristics using an image analysis system. Principal coordinate analysis on the AFLP data classified the oaks in two main groups, according to their taxonomic status. No species-specific AFLP markers were found using four primer combinations, but marker frequency differences up to 71% were recorded between both species. Analysis of the genetic structure showed that the divergence between species, as observed by ordination, was significant. Both species revealed similar diversity levels. A smaller though significant differentiation was also revealed for both species among populations within species. Molecular and morphology based approaches showed a high degree of consistency. Screening of 60 AFLP primer combinations using a bulking strategy did not allow identifying species-specific markers, which supports the conclusions reached in previous studies. The distribution of genetic variability at the species and at the population level is discussed.