, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 49-61
Date: 27 Jun 2010

New universal mitochondrial PCR markers reveal new information on maternal citrus phylogeny

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Abstract

The aim of this work was to provide a set of mitochondrial markers to reveal polymorphism and to study the maternal phylogeny in citrus. We first used 44 universal markers previously described in the literature: nine of these markers produced amplification products but only one revealed polymorphism in citrus. We then designed six conserved pairs of primers using the complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana and Beta vulgaris to amplify polymorphic intergenic and intronic regions. From these six pairs of primers, three from introns of genes coding for NADH dehydrogenase subunits 2, 5, and 7, revealed polymorphism in citrus. First, we confirmed that citrus have a maternal mitochondrial inheritance in two populations of 250 and 120 individuals. We then conducted a phylogenic study using four polymorphic primers on 77 genotypes representing the diversity of Citrus and two related genera. Seven mitotypes were identified. Six mitotypes (Poncirus, Fortunella, Citrus medica, Citrus micrantha, Citrus reticulata, and Citrus maxima) were congruent with previous taxonomic investigations. The seventh mitotype enabled us to distinguish an acidic mandarin group (‘Cleopatra’, ‘Sunki’ and ‘Shekwasha’) from other mandarins and revealed a maternal relationship with Citrus limonia (‘Rangpur’ lime, ‘Volkamer’ lemon) and Citrus jambhiri (‘Rough’ lemon). This mitotype contained only cultivated species used as rootstocks due to their good tolerances to abiotic stress. Our results also suggest that two species classified by Swingle and Reece, Citrus limon, and Citrus aurantifolia, have multiple maternal cytoplasmic origins.

Communicated by F. Gmitter