Local adaptation is a key concept in biology: shift of genetic structures of populations due to differential survival of genotypes is expected to lead to phenotypes providing an advantage in the local environment. Variation of sequences of twelve candidate genes was investigated in 13 Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) provenances originating from sites distributed along an altitudinal gradient from 550 to 1300 m a.s.l. Signals of selection were assessed in 103 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). The Bayesian FST-outlier identification methods as implemented in the programs BayeScan and Arlequin did not identify any SNP with a clear evidence of selection. The approaches relying on SNP-climate associations (spatial analysis method based on logistic regression of allele frequencies with environmental variables, Bayesian method applied in BayEnv2) identified several relationships but none of them remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Gene flow, epigenetic inheritance and former management of the studied populations are discussed as potential reasons for this weak evidence of selection signals.
Abstract Gene flow among individual trees of Pinus sylvestris and P. mugo putative hybrid swarms in Slovakia was fol-lowed at four localities using the species-diagnostic cpDNA trnV-trnH/Hinf I restriction profile. Variable proportions of P. sylvestris and P. mugo haplotypes were revealed among the sampled localities. Low between-habitus consistency of the trees and their cpDNA haplotypes indicates the hybrid nature of the swarms. Molecular analy-sis based on mutual comparison of the haplotypes of a given tree and its embryos suggests direct and recipro-cal hybridization between trees of the P. sylvestris and P. mugo haplotypes. Besides conspecific embryos resulting from hybridization of trees with the same haplotype (P. sylvestris × P. sylvestris and P. mugo × P. mugo), hybrid embryos of P. sylvestris × P. mugo (8.03%) and P. mugo × P. sylvestris (11.50%) were also detected in open-pollinated offspring. The results are discussed from the standpoint of primary and introgressive hybridization between the parental species.