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Plant Focus

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A guest post by Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants podcast and blog

Population Genetics of Quercus macrocarpa

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Mira Garner, Kasey Pham, Alan T. Whittemore, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Paul F. Gugger, Paul S. Manos, Ian S. Pearse, and Andrew L. Hipp

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 131–138

Abstract

The widespread Eastern North American oak, Quercus macrocarpa, is an ideal species for studying hybridization. Like most oaks, it exhibits strong morphological and ecological species coherence, but it hybridizes readily with at least eight currently or historically sympatric oak species throughout its range from Texas north to Manitoba, and from Michigan west across the Great Plains. Its geographic and ecological variation makes it a good candidate to address the question of how hybridization and gene flow might affect adaptation. Our study investigates (1) population genetic structure of Q. macrocarpa and (2) genetic coherence of the species throughout its range, as it comes into contact with five widespread cooccurring White Oak species whose ranges all overlap a subset of the range of Q. macrocarpa.

Keywords

population genetics, Quercus macrocarpa, hybridization, Hyb-Seq, syngameon, White Oaks, Quercus section Quercus

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