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Application of genetic markers to the discrimination of European Black Poplar (Populus nigra) from American Black Poplar (P. deltoides) and Hybrid Poplars (P. x canadensis) in Switzerland
journal contributionposted on 2021-02-10, 22:45 authored by R Holderegger, S Angelone, S Brodbeck, D Csencsics, F Gugerli, Susan HoebeeSusan Hoebee, R Finkeldey
European Black Poplar (Populus nigra) is considered a rare and endangered tree species because of severe reduction of its natural riverine habitat and potential hybridisation with the related non-indigenous taxa P. deltoides and P. x canadensis. As it is difficult to distinguish these taxa solely based on their morphology, we applied a PCR-based assay with an easy-to-use and robust molecular marker set (cpDNA trnL-trnF/RsaI RFLP, nDNA win3 and nDNA POPX/MspI RFLP) in order to identify pure P. nigra. Different plant tissues could be used for fast and standardised DNA extraction. The application of the three marker types was tested on a number of different Populus taxa, and they were also used for the verification of pure P. nigra in a sample of 304 putative P. nigra individuals from Switzerland. Cross-checking of the DNA data with those using a traditional allozyme approach resulted in complete agreement. The availability of molecular identification methods is an important prerequisite for the conservation of European Black Poplar, because pure, non-introgressed plant material can then be used in restoration projects of European floodplains. © Springer-Verlag 2005.