Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 162–170

SSR allelic diversity changes in 480 European bread wheat varieties released from 1840 to 2000


  • V. Roussel
    • Amélioration et Santé des Plantes (UMR 1095)INRA
  • L. Leisova
    • Research Institute of Crop Production
  • F. Exbrayat
    • Amélioration et Santé des Plantes (UMR 1095)INRA
  • Z. Stehno
    • Research Institute of Crop Production
    • Amélioration et Santé des Plantes (UMR 1095)INRA
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00122-005-2014-8

Cite this article as:
Roussel, V., Leisova, L., Exbrayat, F. et al. Theor Appl Genet (2005) 111: 162. doi:10.1007/s00122-005-2014-8


A sample of 480 bread wheat varieties originating from 15 European geographical areas and released from 1840 to 2000 were analysed with a set of 39 microsatellite markers. The total number of alleles ranged from 4 to 40, with an average of 16.4 alleles per locus. When seven successive periods of release were considered, the total number of alleles was quite stable until the 1960s, from which time it regularly decreased. Clustering analysis on Nei’s distance matrix between these seven temporal groups showed a clear separation between groups of varieties registered before and after 1970. Analysis of qualitative variation over time in allelic composition of the accessions indicated that, on average, the more recent the European varieties, the more similar they were to each other. However, European accessions appear to be more differentiated as a function of their geographical origin than of their registration period. On average, western European countries (France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium) displayed a lower number of alleles than southeastern European countries (former Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary) and than the Mediterranean area (Italy, Spain and Portugal), which had a higher number. A hierarchical tree on Nei’s distance matrix between the 15 geographical groups of accessions exhibited clear opposition between the geographical areas north and south of the arc formed by the Alps and the Carpathian mountains. These results suggest that diversity in European wheat accessions is not randomly distributed but can be explained both by temporal and geographical variation trends linked to breeding practices and agriculture policies in different countries.

Supplementary material

List of the accessions’ name and their respective breeder

122_2005_2014_ESM_supp.pdf (171 kb)
(PDF 171 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005