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Genetic Structure and Variability of Natural Populations of Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) in Morocco

Abstract : The estimation of genetic diversity using molecular markers is a major component of genetic conservation programs. In its range, Maritime pine has been extensively studied using different molecular markers and quantitative traits. However, Moroccan populations have been usually represented only by a few typical locations in the Middle Atlas (e.g., Tainjout). To describe the genetic structure and variability of maritime pine in Morocco, eleven populations of this species comprising all major geographic regions (Rif, Middle Atlas and High Atlas) were studied using allozyme markers. A total of 471 samples were analyzed using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) of eight enzyme systems encoded by 19 loci. Genetic variation was lower in Morocco than in other ranges of the species. However, genetic diversity was structured and a high differentiation among populations (theta = 10.44%) and a moderate correlation between genetic and geographic distances were found (0.350). Three main groups of populations can be distinguished based on genetic distances: (i) Mediterranean Coastal, (ii) Occidental Rif and Middle Atlas and (iii) High Atlas. The populations from Middle Atlas presented the lowest values of allelic richness and gene diversity whereas the populations from Rif showed a considerable amount of genetic variability Human impact and isolation are major factors explaining population genetic structure of maritime pine in Morocco. Overexploitation of the forest by intensive cattle grazing and land speculation are suggested to be active mechanisms currently deploying the genetic resources of this species.
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N. Wahid, Santiago C. González-Martínez, I. El Hadrami, A. Boulli. Genetic Structure and Variability of Natural Populations of Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) in Morocco. Silvae Genetica, Walter De Gruyter, 2004, 53 (1-6), pp.93-99. ⟨10.1515/sg-2004-0017⟩. ⟨hal-02679329⟩

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