In natural populations, Quercus robur L. and Q. petraea (Matt.) Liebl. comprise a morphological continuum due to hybridization and/or an overlap in variation between the two species. In order to obtain diagnostic markers to investigate these morphological intermediate forms, leaf morphology and AFLP were evaluated for their ability to discriminate between these two species in an autochthonous population in the Netherlands. Multivariate statistical analyses revealed a differentiation between the species based on leaf morphology data as well as AFLP data. Discriminant analysis resulted in the detection of only three out of 13 studied leaf morphology traits to be involved with species discrimination. None of the 92 polymorphic AFLP markers were diagnostic, but we found markers effective in species differentiation: there were 13 markers exhibiting significant marker band frequency differences among which there were five species-indicative marker-combinations. Regression analyses of AFLP markers on each of the 13 leaf morphology characteristics resulted in significant associations between groups of AFLP markers and leaf morphology traits. This study indicates that Q. robur and Q. petraea are closely related and probably only differ for a few genes coding for leaf morphology traits.
|Publication status||Published - 2001|