Genetic Structure of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium (Solanaceae) Populations Collected after the ENSO Event of 1997–1998
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- Sifres, A., Picó, B., Blanca, J.M. et al. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2007) 54: 359. doi:10.1007/s10722-005-5725-4
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The greatest extent of genetic variation and outcrossing for Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium occurs in northern Peru. This is also the area most affected by EI Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Using morphological and the molecular markers SSRs and AFLPs, we studied the genetic structure of L. pimpinellifolium populations collected after the ENSO event of 1997–1998. This was the most intense in the last century and caused a vast increase in the size of L. pimpinellifolium populations. Populations in the area surveyed were not regionally differentiated. We did not find any cline or eco-geographic association for genetic diversity, and positive correlations between genetic and geographic distances were found only at very short distances. Flooding and water streams caused by ENSO might have facilitated a periodical seed migration from distant areas. Gene flow between populations could then occur, facilitated by the increase in the population sizes of plants and pollinators and by the high levels of stigmatic exsertion. Results revealed a significant lack of heterozygotes in comparison with those expected in a panmictic population without consanguinity. A high degree of endogamy was found in all populations. In this context, endogamy can be explained by the occurrence of crosses between relatives rather than by autogamy. In an area intensely disturbed by ENSO, we found a population that had not been reported by earlier collectors in this region. This yellow-fruited population remained morphologically and molecularly differentiated from all L. pimpinellifolium and L. esculentum populations analyzed.