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Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 2;8(1):11593. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30041-4.

Temporal quantification of mating system parameters in a coastal Douglas-fir seed orchard under manipulated pollination environment.

Author information

1
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
2
Department of Integrative Biology, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada.
3
Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, 165 21, Praha, Czech Republic.
4
Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. y.el-kassaby@ubc.ca.

Abstract

Seed orchards main function is delivering breeding programs' gains in the form of genetically improved seedlings. They are unique experimental populations, perfectly suited for studying various pollination environments (natural or otherwise), affecting their mating system parameters. Here, under different pollination environment (natural and intrusive (pollen augmentation and/or bloom-delay)), the mating system of a second generation, wind-pollinated, coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seed orchard was evaluated over four years. Using DNA microsatellite markers and bulk seed samples, we conducted pedigree reconstruction to assign each seed's male and female parents, followed by determining the extent of pollen contamination (external gene flow), selfing rate, and, parental gametic contribution for each year. Overall, external pollen contamination rates ranged between 10 and 28%, selfing rate varied between 12 and 17%, and 80% of the seed crops were produced by 37-64% of the orchard's parents. Pollination environment and seed crop size substantially influenced the observed results, particularly for small crops as pollen contamination was high in natural (28%) vs. intrusive pollination (10%). Generally, irrespective of the crop size, seed produced under natural pollination had higher pollen contamination, confirming the role of pollination environment manipulation in improving seed crops' genetic quality.

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