Object & Deliverables
The projects’ overall objective was to better understand the potential risks of using non-native poplar species in Alberta as a fibre source. Both a Master’s and a PhD student were assigned parts of the project. Final reports included a MSc thesis and a report summarizing the work partly completed by the PhD student. It was determined that hybridization is occurring between some native and non-native poplars based on their overlapping flowering patterns. Additionally, based on greenhouse experiments, it was found that the native and exotic poplars were genetically compatible, as evident by the formation of seed pods and viable seeds im many of the crosses undertaken. A subsequent gene-flow project was initiated which led to somewhat disappointing results, possibly due to contaminated sampling. However, optimized methods of DNA extraction, gel running, scoring and data analysis, PCR optimization, and primer optimization were developed.
Final reports were submitted as a MSc thesis by Arlene Huybregts on May 3, 2002 entitled, “Assessing the potential for hybridization between native and non-native poplars in central Alberta” and “Phase ll Report- Development of molecular markers for analysis of hybrid poplars”. by Dr. Muhammad Rahman.