A comparison of three circular mitochondrial genomes of fagus sylvatica from Germany and Poland reveals low variation and complete identity of the gene space

  • Similar to chloroplast loci, mitochondrial markers are frequently used for genotyping, phylogenetic studies, and population genetics, as they are easily amplified due to their multiple copies per cell. In a recent study, it was revealed that the chloroplast offers little variation for this purpose in central European populations of beech. Thus, it was the aim of this study to elucidate, if mitochondrial sequences might offer an alternative, or whether they are similarly conserved in central Europe. For this purpose, a circular mitochondrial genome sequence from the more than 300-year-old beech reference individual Bhaga from the German National Park Kellerwald-Edersee was assembled using long and short reads and compared to an individual from the Jamy Nature Reserve in Poland and a recently published mitochondrial genome from eastern Germany. The mitochondrial genome of Bhaga was 504,730 bp, while the mitochondrial genomes of the other two individuals were 15 bases shorter, due to seven indel locations, with four having more bases in Bhaga and three locations having one base less in Bhaga. In addition, 19 SNP locations were found, none of which were inside genes. In these SNP locations, 17 bases were different in Bhaga, as compared to the other two genomes, while 2 SNP locations had the same base in Bhaga and the Polish individual. While these figures are slightly higher than for the chloroplast genome, the comparison confirms the low degree of genetic divergence in organelle DNA of beech in central Europe, suggesting the colonisation from a common gene pool after the Weichsel Glaciation. The mitochondrial genome might have limited use for population studies in central Europe, but once mitochondrial genomes from glacial refugia become available, it might be suitable to pinpoint the origin of migration for the re-colonising beech population.

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Author:Bagdevi Mishra, Bartosz UlaszewskiORCiD, Joanna MegerORCiD, Sebastian PlochORCiDGND, Jarosław BurczykORCiD, Marco ThinesORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Forests
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/01
Date of first Publication:2021/05/01
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/18
Tag:European beech; conservation genetics; mt DNA; population genetics; postglacial colonisation
Issue:5, art. 571
Page Number:8
First Page:1
Last Page:8
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 63 Landwirtschaft / 630 Landwirtschaft und verwandte Bereiche
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0