Genetic diversity of different apricot geographical groups determined by SSR markers
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Forty apricot cultivars with different geographic origins belonging to the germplasm collections of St. Istvan University (Budapest, Hungary) and the Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA) (Valencia, Spain) were studied by means of SSR markers. The aim of the study was to determine the genetic relationships among genotypes from different eco-geographical groups. Sixteen primer pairs flanking microsatellite sequences in the peach genome were assayed. Eleven of them were polymorphic in the set of cultivars studied and allowed every genotype to be unambiguously distinguished. Genetic diversity in the population studied was analyzed using several variability parameters. A total of 34 alleles were detected with a mean value of 3.1 alleles/locus. The expected heterozygosity mean was 0.46 and the observed heterozygosity was 32% on an average leading to a high value of the Wright's fixation index (0.32). Additionally, UPGMA cluster analysis based on Nei's genetic distance grouped genotypes according to their geographic origins and pedigrees. SSR markers have proved to be an efficient tool for fingerprinting cultivars and conducting genetic-diversity studies in apricot.