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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Feb;21(3):2165-77. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2081-3. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Adaptation strategies and referencing trial of Scots and black pine populations subjected to heavy metal pollution.

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  • 1Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Genetics, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Umultowska 89, 61-614, Poznań, Poland, evpell@amu.edu.pl.

Abstract

The impact of industrial heavy metal pollution on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) populations was investigated. Sampled pine stands, which were located in Upper Silesia (southern Poland) in an area strongly polluted by heavy metals, consisted of resistant and sensitive trees. To evaluate the adaptation process, genetic structure and diversity was tested using isozyme analysis. Higher levels of Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu were detected in needles of sensitive trees compared with resistant ones. With respect to morphology, Scots pines were more distinctly impaired than black pines. Although black pines had lower heavy metal concentrations, levels in 1-year-old needles, other than Cu, significantly exceeded "reference plant" values (Markert 1994). In both species, resistant trees demonstrated a lower degree of genetic variation than metal-sensitive trees with respect to some enzyme loci (SHDH A, PGI, PGM, MDH C and DIA). This observation was corroborated in sensitive trees by the smaller number of identified alleles and alleles per locus, absence of private alleles and significant excess of homozygotes in relation to expected Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium values. Assuming that only resistant trees of both species survive under conditions of prolonged soil contamination, the observed genetic structure implies that remaining populations will be depleted of some alleles of unknown adaptive value to future selection pressures. Genetic changes induced by heavy metals suggest an important role for specific enzymes-FEST, SHDH A and B, GOT B and PGI-in the adaptation process. Our results may serve as a basis for selection and propagation of individuals appropriate for re-cultivation of areas chemically degraded by industrial activity.

PMID:
24043503
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3906555
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