Slash and burn practices affect tropical forests. Our results showed strong introgression between Inga ingoides and Inga edulis in the species contact area. Interspecific hybridization could be sought to improve yield and tolerance to flooding and further increase the economic potential of the poorly drained Amazonian soils and minimize deforestation.
Inga species are important components of tropical American forests, as well as a local food source. Little is known about the genetic structure of these species; in particular the amount of introgression among species remains unknown. We assessed the degree of genetic divergence and introgression among populations of I. ingoides (Rich.) Willd. and I. edulis Mart. (Fabaceae) from three Peruvian Amazon tributary rivers. Using microsatellite markers we determined the genetic structure of populations using an analysis of molecular variance and a Bayesian analysis of population structure in areas affected by seasonal river fluctuations and in ‘terra firme’ forests. Overall genetic differentiation was weak. The degree of genetic variation was similar in the two species. A putatively strong introgression was detected between the two species and an intense gene flow was identified among populations. This indicates that an intense gene flow had happened in the past, leading also to a small differentiation among populations within species. Selection of natural hybrids or artificial hybridization between I. edulis and I. ingoides could be applied to improve legume size and yield in the later species, while maintaining tolerance to flooding. Improved I. ingoides could be used in multipurpose agroforestry on open areas along the rivers, instead of using the usual slash and burn practice to create inland open areas.
Rollo A, Lojka B, Honys D, Mandák B, Wong JAC, Santos C, Costa R, Quintela-Sabarís C, Ribeiro MM 2016. Genetic diversity and hybridization in the two species Inga ingoides and Inga edulis: potential applications for agroforestry in the Peruvian Amazon. Ann. For. Sci.: 1-11. 10.1007/s13595-015-0535-0.
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