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Open access

Justyna Anna Nowakowska, Tadeusz Zachara and Agata Konecka

Abstract

The genetic variability and biodiversity of tree populations ensure the stability and sustainability of forest ecosystems. New research tools based on molecular DNA markers enable precise characterisation of forest genetic resources, i.e. detection of different allele frequencies in mature trees and progeny populations. The paper describes the genetic structure of mature stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Oława Forest District and Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) in Jawor Forest District and stands of their respective progeny. In the Scots pine stand, there was a slight increase (0.6%) in heterozygosity level and a larger increase (4.9%) in the inbreeding coefficient of progeny trees. In the Norway spruce stand, despite a small reduction (0.9%) in heterozygosity, a similar increase (4.6%) in the inbreeding coefficient of progeny was revealed. In both stands, allele richness and the partition probability of basic clustering were high. Both pine and spruce adults and progeny trees were characterised by high levels of genetic similarity (96% and 79%, respectively). Gene flow between the mature and progeny populations was high (Nm > 1) for both Scots pine and Norway spruce. Conservation of the gene pool within forest tree stands requires an increase in the proportion of natural regeneration. To estimate the extent to which genes are transmitted between adult trees and their progeny, more studies are needed, especially taking into account the influence of silviculture measures, like selective tree cutting, on the genetic variability of the younger generation. These results confirm that the gene pool was conserved when transmitted between the stands studied, as well as highlight the usefulness of such a study for silvicultural purposes

Open access

Justyna A. Nowakowska, Anna Tereba and Tomasz Oszako

Open access

Tomasz Oszako, Katarzyna Anna Kubiak, Marta Siebyła and Justyna Anna Nowakowska

Abstract

Slow Sand Filters (SSF) are a biological method used to protect nursery plants, from pathogen infections which can cause serious diseases in many forest tree species. Thanks to SSF application the number of phytopathogens in nurseries can be significantly reduced, as demonstrated by many field and greenhouse experiments (e.g. in Polish nurseries, and for horticultural crops in Germany and The Netherlands).

In this study, the effect of pollution from fertilizers and fungicides used in agriculture (e.g. PCNB) on the efficiency of SSFs was assessed. A quantitative analysis was performed of the copiotrophic and oligotrophic bacterial composition colonizing SSF biofilms. The efficiency with which selected Oomycete strains belonging to the genus Phytophthora (P. alni, P. cactorum, P. plurivora) were removed from water was determined based on genetic material (DNA of the organisms) found in the SSF filtrate. Specific primers and TaqMan probes (qPCR) appeared to be the most sensitive molecular methods. Moreover, the microbiological analysis of SSF biofilm performed with selective media allowed the growth of copiothrophic and oligothrophic bacteria to be estimated. The influence of fungicide (PCNB) and N-fertilizer on the number of bacteria in each biofilm was also evaluated.

The pollution of water with fertilizer (being used for plant irrigation) was demonstrated to reduce the efficiency of filtration more than fungicide addition (the amount of DNA from those investigated pathogens in the water decreased with time). The amount of bacteria in SSF biofilm readily increased after application of N-fertilizer in contrast to fungicide (PCNB) addition.

Open access

Anna Żółciak, Justyna Anna Nowakowska, Artur Pacia, Nenad Keča and Tomasz Oszako

Abstract

Ash dieback caused by an alien, invasive fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus is a serious disease of European ash species in many parts in Europe. In Poland, the disease was recorded in the beginning of the 1990s. This study was performed in 2016–2017 with the aim to identify fungi isolated from ash shoots showing dieback symptoms in the Wolica Nature Reserve in Poland, as well as from shoots of two years-old ash seedlings inoculated with H. fraxineus in the greenhouse.

The most frequently isolated fungi from shoots of common ash (associated with the pathogenic fungus H. fraxineus) were identified on the basis of sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1) of fungal rDNA. In total, 19 fungal taxa were identified for ash shoots as follows: H. fraxineus, Fusarium avenaceum, Alternaria spp., Phomopsis oblonga, Diplodia mutila and other Phomopsis spp. The pathogen H. fraxineus was not found for all the shoots samples; one year after inoculation the aforementioned fungi and other species as: Alternaria alternata, Bionectria ochroleuca, Epicoccum nigrum, F. acuminatum, F. avenaceum, and Paraphaesphaeria neglecta were identified in inoculation point, as well as H. fraxineus. The same quantitative and qualitative changes of organisms were observed in the case of artificially colonised ash seedlings in the greenhouse, as well as in the shoots of adult ash trees in the forest.

Open access

Justyna Gutkowska, Małgorzata Borys, Anna Tereba, Miłosz Tkaczyk, Tomasz Oszako and Justyna Anna Nowakowska

Abstract

The study was conducted in 2015 in six spruce stands situated in different forest districts administratively belonging to the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno. Each spruce population was represented by 30 trees and assessed in terms of their current health status. Genetic analyses were performed on shoot samples from each tree using nine nuclear DNA markers and one mitochondrial DNA marker (nad1). The health status of the trees was described according to the classification developed by Szczepkowski and Tarasiuk (2005) and the correlation between health classes and the level of genetic variability was computed with STATISTICA (α = 0.05).

Nuclear DNA analyses revealed a low level of genetic variability among spruce populations (only 3% of the total genetic variation (F ST = 0.028) and a high variability within populations (97%). The total heterozygosity in all stands (H T) was calculated as 0.646. Based on UPGMA analysis, the most genetically similar populations are spruce stands in the Bieszczady National Park and the Ustrzyki Dolne Forest District, which have the smallest genetic divergence of all populations (D N = 0.0165).

Our analysis of the mitochondrial gene nad1 revealed the presence of six different haplotypes ‘a’, ‘a1’, ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ and ‘d1’. Comprising 56% of all haplotypes, ‘a’ was the most common showing a predominant impact on spruce migration from the Carpathian area. The analysis based on mitochondrial markers (by Nei) revealed a heterozygosity of 0.525.

Based on the observations of disease symptoms, 29% of the trees belong to health class 1, 30% to class 2, 28% to class 3 and class 4 contains 13% of trees. The comparison between health status and the level of genetic variation in the analysed stands showed a positive correlation. Spruce stands with better health were also characterised by a greater degree of genetic variability.

Since most of the investigated spruce populations shared the mitochondrial haplotype ‘a’, we have ascertained their Hercynian–Carpathian origin. Only one stand (Cisna) had a high frequency (43.3%) of the Nordic haplotype ‘c’ suggesting that this provenance is derived from the Baltic post-glacial refugium of P. abies in europe.

Open access

Anna Tereba, Agata Konecka and Justyna A. Nowakowska

Abstract

The paper describes a number of molecular methods used in the past and now to analyze forest tree species. Taking into account the economic importance of forest trees and in view of the timber economy, wood properties and characteristics are essential factors subjected to control, observation and research. Molecular techniques that support traditional selection methods allow for genetic diversity analyses considering a range of research aspects. The development of these techniques at the turn of the last two decades has enabled wide-ranging use of molecular data in studies on forest tree populations. On the example of pine (Pinus L.), the paper presents data based on molecular studies as well as a variety of possibilities to apply the obtained results.