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Genetica. 2006 Mar;126(3):315-21.

Mating system in a low-density natural population of the dioecious wind-pollinated Patagonian cypress.

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  • 1Unidad de GenĂ©tica Forestal, INTA EEA Bariloche, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, CC 277, R.N., Argentina.


The mating system of a species is an essential factor that determines the genotypic frequencies of its populations in each generation. Thus, knowledge in this regard is important in the application of practical measures in conservation and forest tree breeding. Austrocedrus chilensis (D.DON) PIC. SER. ET BIZZARRI: is a member of the Cupressaceae native to the Andean-Patagonian Forest of Argentina and Chile with regional economic importance. It is a dioecious tree with pollen and seeds distributed by wind. Isozyme markers were utilized to study the mating system of this species through the survey of individual effective pollen clouds in a natural low-density population. If random mating occurs, effective pollen clouds that pollinate single seed trees are expected to be genetically homogeneous. The classical HardyWeinberg test of panmixia was also performed. Although it failed to reject random mating, the analysis of the pollen clouds showed that this mating pattern does not occur. Evidence of locally distributed heterogeneous pollen clouds is presented. The two methods are critically compared.

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