Submitted to: International Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Ecotypes are useful sources of rapid adaptation to new environments. Recent collections of the wild apple (M. sieversii) from Kazakhstan maintained in Geneva, New York, have made available populations from twelve sites in Kazakhstan representing radically different environments. SSR analysis of subpopulations from these sites indicates a high degree of diversity with different sets of genes predominating at individual sites. Since several geographically distinct sites report minimal annual rainfall (250-400 mm/yr), populations surviving at these sites must contain genetic changes related to enhanced water use efficiency and/or drought resistance. These traits are composed of a complicated network of morphological and biochemical factors, all under genetic control. We measured several common traits related to drought resistance (leaf area, stomata length and density, and tree architecture) or water use efficiency (delta 13C). We report that leaf morphological traits and branch architectural traits are significantly different among ecotypes and a stratified core composed of individuals from nine different Kazakhstan sites. In addition, water use efficient individuals from the same populations could be distinguished based on their ability to discriminate against 13C.