In the twentieth century, a substantial decline in Pinus thunbergii populations in Japan occurred due to the outbreak of pine wood nematode (PWN), Burshaphelencus xylophilus. A PWNP. thunbergii resistant trees-breeding project was developed in the 1980s to provide reforestation materials to minimalize the pest damage within the population. Since climate change can also contribute to PWN outbreaks, an intensive reforestation plan instated without much consideration can impact on the genetic diversity of P. thunbergii populations. The usage and deployment of PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees to a given site without genetic management can lead to a genetic disturbance. The Iki-no-Matsubara population was used as a model to design an approach for the deployment management. This research aimed to preserve local genetic diversity, genetic structure, and relatedness by developing a method for deploying Kyushu PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees as reforestation-material plants into Iki-no-Matsubara. The local genotypes of the Iki-no-Matsubara population and the Kyushu PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees were analyzed using six microsatellite markers. Genotype origins, relatedness, diversity, and structure of both were investigated and compared with the genetic results previously obtained for old populations of P. thunbergii throughout Japan. A sufficient number of Kyushu PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees, as mother trees, within seed orchards and sufficient status number of the seedlings to deploy are needed when deploying the Kyushu PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees as reforestation material planting into Iki-no-Matsubara population. This approach not only be used to preserve Iki-no-Matsubara population (genetic diversity, genetic structure, relatedness, and resilience of the forests) but can also be applied to minimize PWN damage. These results provide a baseline for further seed sourcing as well as develop genetic management strategies within P. thunbergii populations, including Kyushu PWN-P. thunbergii resistant trees.
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