iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Pollen contamination and mating patterns in a Prosopis alba clonal orchard: impact on seed orchards establishment

Ivan D’Amico (1), Cesar Vilardi Juan (1-2), Ofelia Saidman Beatriz (1-2), Mauricio Ewens (3), Cecilia Bessega (1-2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 330-337 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2936-012
Published: Jun 14, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Prosopis alba (Leguminosae) is an important species from ecologic and economical points of view in arid and semi-arid regions of Argentina. In several open-pollinated species, pollen contamination from off-orchard parents and selfing have been proven to reduce orchard seed quality. In 2002, the first clonal orchard of Prosopis alba was established in Fernández (Santiago del Estero, Argentina) with 12 trees phenotypically selected from a progeny trial, based on height, pod production per year and pod sweetness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mating patterns and pollen contamination rate in the orchard using ten SSR markers and paternity analysis. All the clones together with the progeny of a single clone (open-pollinated seeds) were genotyped. Data was processed by two different methods based on likelihood and Bayesian approaches, respectively. A high consistency (89%) of results was observed between the two methods, and pollen contamination rate was estimated between 27% and 37%. The minimum number of different pollen donors per mother plant varied from three to five and selfing occurrence was low (<1.6%). Based on the estimated status number (Ns = 4.4), the expected coancestry in the seed crop is equal to a Mendelian population with an effective size of 4-5 individuals. Genetic analyses are encouraged during the establishment and monitoring of trials in forest breeding and management programmes. It is strongly recommended to establish seed orchards in isolated areas and to guarantee equal representation of parental genotypes in the orchards.


Cervus, MasterBayes, Microsatellites, Paternity Analysis, Mesquite, Prosopis alba, Seed Orchard

Authors’ address

Ivan D’Amico
Cesar Vilardi Juan
Ofelia Saidman Beatriz 0000-0003-4704-3713
Cecilia Bessega 0000-0002-8575-1828
Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Cesar Vilardi Juan
Ofelia Saidman Beatriz 0000-0003-4704-3713
Cecilia Bessega 0000-0002-8575-1828
Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución (IEGEBA) CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Mauricio Ewens
Estación experimental Fernández, Universidad Católica de Santiago del Estero (UCSE), Santiago del Estero (Argentina)

Corresponding author

Cecilia Bessega


D’Amico I, Vilardi Juan C, Saidman Beatriz O, Ewens M, Bessega C (2019). Pollen contamination and mating patterns in a Prosopis alba clonal orchard: impact on seed orchards establishment. iForest 12: 330-337. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2936-012

Academic Editor

Alberto Santini

Paper history

Received: Jul 31, 2018
Accepted: Apr 05, 2019

First online: Jun 14, 2019
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2019
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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