Conservation of nuclear SSR loci reveals high affinity of Quercus infectoria ssp. veneris A. Kern (Fagaceae) to section Robur
Charalambos Neophytou, Aikaterini Dounavi, Filippos A. Aravanopoulos
(Submitted on 21 Jun 2013)
Conservation of 16 nuclear microsatellite loci, originally developed for Quercus macrocarpa (section Albae), Q. petraea, Q. robur (section Robur) and Q. myrsinifolia, (subgenus Cyclobalanopsis) was tested in a Q. infectoria ssp. veneris population from Cyprus. All loci could be amplified successfully and displayed allele size and diversity patterns that match those of oak species belonging to the section Robur. At least in one case, limited amplification and high levels of homozygosity support the occurrence of ‘null alleles’, caused by a possible mutation in the highly conserved primer areas, thus hindering PCR. The sampled population exhibited high levels of diversity despite the very limited distribution of this species in Cyprus and extended population fragmentation. Allele sizes of Q. infectoria at locus QpZAG9 partially match those of Q. alnifolia and Q. coccifera from neighboring populations. However, sequencing showed homoplasy, excluding a case of interspecific introgression with the latter, phylogenetically remote species. Q. infectoria ssp. veneris sequences at this locus were concordant to those of other species of section Robur, while sequences of Quercus alnifolia and Quercus coccifera were almost identical to Q. cerris.