Microsatellite survey reveals possible link between triploidy and mortality of quaking aspen in Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
In the southwestern United States, populations of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) are experiencing widespread mortality. Although environmental factors contributing to mortality have been well characterized, less is known about how genotype and particularly ploidy level affect susceptibility. We used five microsatellite markers to infer the ploidy level of 212 aspen stems in Kaibab National Forest, Arizona. Many multilocus genotypes showed three alleles at one or more loci, suggestive of frequent triploidy among our samples. Sites populated with putative triploids had higher mortality. In addition, heterozygosity was positively associated with mortality and crown dieback. Our results suggest that triploidy is a predisposing factor for aspen mortality in Kaibab National Forest.
Dixon, G.B. and DeWald, L.E. 2015. Microsatellite survey reveals possible link between triploidy and mortality of quaking aspen in Kaibab National Forest, Arizona. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45(10):1369-1375.