Genetic resources of Cedrela odorata L. and their efficient use in Mesoamerica
Navarro Pereira, C.M.
The general objective of this work is to nassess the genetic resources of Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata L.) and study possibilities for their efficient use. It is a highly valued forest species, chiefly because of its high quality wood. It has been severely extracted in natural forests and is considered endangered in Mesoamerica. This work examines genetic diversity and population differentiation in genetic resources of Spanish cedar from several countries of Mesoamerica, and surveys the plantation of field experiments and conservation gardens. In the present study within-population variability in molecular markers and in quantitative traits were not correlated over populations. The amount of interpopulation differentiation was higher for molecular markers (FST=0.67) than for quantitative traits (Qst=0.30), suggesting that the deviation in the quantitative traits was less than could have been achieved by genetic drift alone. However, pair-wise population comparisons of marker genes and quantitative differentiation exposed a high positive correlation (r=0.66), signifying that the degree of divergence in the molecular markers can be used to predict the degree of population differentiation in quantitative traits.