Genetic structure and gene flow in Beta vulgaris subspecies maritima along the Atlantic coast of France
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- Richards, C.M., Reeves, P.A., Fenwick, A.L. et al. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2014) 61: 651. doi:10.1007/s10722-013-0066-1
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Locating and quantifying genetic variation within crop wild relatives is an ongoing activity of gene banks tasked with ex situ conservation. Without detailed information about the population genetics of a species, geography often serves as a reasonable proxy for differentiation. With this in mind, this paper examines the genetic diversity and differentiation of Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima accessions collected along a well-studied latitudinal gradient along the French Atlantic coast of France as well as Corsica, for use as representative genotypes from the Mediterranean basin. The aim of this work is to identify the scale and magnitude of differentiation and diversity in this set of accessions, using both molecular and quantitative traits. We assessed clinal variation and admixture in genetic and morphometric data along this latitudinal gradient. Results from this study revealed a complex pattern of recent gene flow and immigration on a historical biogeographic structure. Our data suggest that a presumed latitudinal cline is in reality an admixed mosaic of genotypes.