The genetic polymorphism of three populations of the dioecious riparian tree Populus euphratica Oliv. in Israel was examined with isozyme tests. Twelve enzyme systems revealed 20 putative loci, of which 13 were polymorphic. A centrally located population (comprising both females and males) was sampled, as well as two small peripheral and isolated stands: one comprised of only females and one containing males only. Genetic diversity values in P. euphratica were usually lower than those reported in other poplars and other species with similar life-history traits. The highest genetic diversity was found in the central, sexually dimorphic population; however, the sexually monomorphic (unisexual) marginal populations also manifested some genetic diversity, with the lowest values in the male population. Each of the unisexual populations could have originated from very few founder individuals of the same gender. The genetic variability detected in the unisexual populations may reflect somatic mutations accumulated in a vegetatively reproducing lineage over a long time span.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Global and Planetary Change