Eva Zahradnikova, Andrej Ficek, Brona Brejova, Tomas Vinar, Karol Micieta. Mosaicism in old trees and its patterns. Trees, 2020. Accepted October 2019.

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Abstract:

Eight individuals from two gymnosperm and three angiosperm species of 
trees were studied for age-related mosaicism. We compare the level of 
intra-organismal genetic variability found within an individual old and an 
individual young tree of the same species to prove its relation to age. In 
five cases, we found statistically significant differences in intra-
organismal genetic variability between young and old trees. In three cases 
of mosaicism, the constructed dendrogram corresponded with the actual 
branching of the tree, but it differed in the remaining two. We offer an 
explanation of the cases when the dendrogram does not correspond with the 
branching structure of the tree through the patterns of sectorial and 
mericlinal chimerism. In the studied gymnosperms, we found that the growth 
rate possibly influenced the level of intra-organismal variability, while 
in angiosperms the dependence was rather on age. The differences between 
angiosperm and gymnosperm molecular evolution and meristem stratification 
may play a role in this, but further research is needed in this area.