Evidence for shared ancestral polymorphism rather than recurrent gene flow at microsatellite loci differentiating two hybridizing oaks (Quercus spp.)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2005
Authors:G. Muir Schl
Journal:Molecular Ecology
Date Published:2005

Abstract Quercus petraea and Quercus robur are two closely related oak species, considered to hybridize. Genetic markers, however, indicate that despite sharing most alleles, the two species remain separate genetic units. Analysis of 20 microsatellite loci in multiple populations from both species suggested a genome-wide differentiation. Thus, the allele sharing between both species could be explained either by low rates of gene flow or shared ancestral variation. We performed further analyses of population differentiation in a biogeographical setting and an admixture analysis in mixed oak stands to distinguish between both hypotheses. Based on our results we propose that the low genetic differentiation among these species results from shared ancestry rather than high rates of gene flow.

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