Reciprocal controlled crosses between Pinus sylvestris and P. mugo verified by a species-specific cpDNA marker
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A species-specific marker of cpDNA (paternally inherited in pines) was used to verify the hybrid origin of seedlings from controlled reciprocal crosses between Pinus sylvestris and P. mugo. A very low degree of compatibility between those two species has been revealed. In the three consecutive years of experiments, no filled seeds were obtained in the combination with P. mugo as the seed parent. From P. sylvestris as the seed parent and P. mugo as the pollen donor, we succeeded to obtain four filled seeds (about 1 %), but only in one year. The seedling obtained from the seeds had cpDNA haplotypes specific to P. mugo, which proves their hybrid origin. This method enables verification of the result of controlled crosses. The importance of the results has been discussed in the aspect of postulated natural hybridisation in sympatric populations of the two species.
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Witold Wachowiak, Polish Academy of Science, Institute of Dendrology, Parkowa 5, 62-035 Kornik, Poland