Eight Pinus nigra Arn. populations from Southern Spain and Northern Morocco were examined using inter-simple sequence repeat markers to characterize the genetic variability amongst populations. Pair-wise population genetic distance ranged from 0.031 to 0.283, with a mean of 0.150 between populations. The highest inter-population average distance was between PaCU from Cuenca and YeCA from Cazorla, while the lowest distance was between TaMO from Morocco and MA Sierra Mágina populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and Nei's genetic diversity analyses revealed higher genetic variation within the same population than among different populations. Genetic differentiation (Gst) was 0.233. Cuenca showed the highest Nei's genetic diversity followed by the Moroccan region, Sierra Mágina, and Cazorla region. However, clustering of populations was not in accordance with their geographical locations. Principal component analysis showed the presence of two major groups-Group 1 contained all populations from Cuenca while Group 2 contained populations from Cazorla, Sierra Mágina and Morocco-while Bayesian analysis revealed the presence of three clusters. The low genetic diversity observed in PaCU and YeCA is probably a consequence of inappropriate management since no estimation of genetic variability was performed before the silvicultural treatments. Data indicates that the inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) method is sufficiently informative and powerful to assess genetic variability among populations of P. nigra.
Keywords: ISSR; Pinus nigra; genetic diversity; populations.