Navigation Links
Genetic legacy of rare dwarf trees is widespread
Date:4/24/2014

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have found genetic evidence that one of Britain's native tree species, the dwarf birch found in the Scottish Highlands, was once common in England.

Genes from dwarf birch were found in birch tree populations across Britain, which reflects a much wider distribution occupied by the "wee tree" when the British climate was colder.

"We seem to have found genetic footprints of the retreat of dwarf birch into its current refuges in the Scottish Highlands," said Dr Richard Buggs, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, who led the research.

"As dwarf birch moved north, some of its genes were picked up by downy birch trees, which spread through Britain at the cost of dwarf birch. The two species cross-pollinated in many parts of Britain after the last glacial maximum as the climate warmed and ice age glaciers melted away."

Co-author and PhD student Nian Wang adds: "Our genetic results fit well with the fact that fossil pollen from dwarf birch has been found in parts of England and Wales. As global warming continues, stray genes and fossils could be all that is left of dwarf birch in Britain."

The current scarcity of dwarf birch seems to be a combination of the effects of global warming, deer grazing and burning plants and trees on moors.

Another risk the study highlights is hybridisation or cross-breeding. Richard Nichols, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at QMUL points out: "We suspect that the influx of pollen from other birch species is actively harmful to the dwarf populations, especially since the larger trees produce much more pollen."

The study has good news for conservation groups planting dwarf birch. By using computer models to predict ecological niches, the scientists identified many areas where dwarf birch could potentially grow under current climates.


'/>"/>
Contact: Neha Okhandiar
n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
020-788-27927
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery
2. Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled
3. Genetics risk, prenatal smoking may predict behavioral problems
4. Genetic study tackles mystery of slow plant domestications
5. New technique will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis
6. Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise and mental development may be linked
7. Genetically modified tobacco plants as an alternative for producing bioethanol
8. Yeast provides genetic clues on drug response
9. Identified epigenetic factors associated with an increased risk of developing cancer
10. Exploring the genetics of Ill do it tomorrow
11. Huma Rana, M.D., receives 2014 Richard King Award for best publication, Genetics in Medicine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... N.Y. , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is ... human microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body –and ... The ... in the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is ... disease. Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... -- Delta (NYSE: DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints ... Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched ... into the boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , ... and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today ... bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that the ... the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has ... for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They call it the ... network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and ... professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director of the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global contract research, development ... patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions ... new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility ... fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort ... After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors ...
Breaking Biology Technology: