European aspen (Populus tremula L.) genetic diversity assessed by molecular methods correlation with P. tremulae infection incidence

  • Rita Verbylaitė
  • Virgilijus Baliuckas
  • Sigutė Kuusienė
Keywords: RAPD, PCR-RFLP, Populus tremula, Phellinus tremulae


This study was based on different susceptibility of Populus tremula clones to Phellinus tremulae, the major pathogen of this tree species. As the  conventional resistance genes detection is time consuming and expensive, it is important to find other applicable methods to recognize resistance genes of the plants. The aim of this study was the assessment of correlation between various genetic population parameters and phenotipic, resistance or highly heritable traits of individual P. tremula trees. In this study we investigated all Lithuanian P. tremula plus trees from 16 populations in 3 provenance regions. Investigated trees were analyzed using RAPD, SSR and PCR-RFLP methods, and their individual and population genetic parameters as well as infection incidence with P. tremulae were assessed. Determined genetic parameters were examined for correlation with P. tremulae infection. Only two out of 292 RAPD loci were significant for damaged and undamaged by P. tremulae groups of trees. The resistance of investigated European aspen plus trees with P. tremulae showed no dependency on the  population, provenance region or individual tree heterozygosity. RAPD loci linked to infection should be investigated further, to confirm or reject their value in assesing individual tree susceptibility to P. tremulae and the genetic mechanisms underlying such correlation.