Identification and genetic diversity of Acer ibericum (Aceraceae) in South Caucasus

Paule J., Goginashvili N., Tvauri I., Paule L., Gabashvili E., Kotetishvili M., Kobakhidze N. (2021): Identification and genetic diversity of Acer ibericum (Aceraceae) in South Caucasus. J. For. Sci., 67: 420–426.

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Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence was tested in Acer ibericum for its suitability as a barcoding as well as population genetic marker. The marker was reliably used to identify A. ibericum as well as to gain preliminary insights into the genetic diversity of Georgian populations. MegaBLAST searches of studied samples against the GenBank database revealed that all studied accessions could be considered Acer ibericum. Populations from Vashlovani National Park revealed the presence of unique ribotypes, and together with the population from Shavi Mountain, they were identified as the most genetically diverse ones. Based on presented data the populations from Eastern Georgia should be prioritized if conservation measures are planned.

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