Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 111, Issue 4, pp 640–650 | Cite as

Molecular diversity of local Norwegian meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) populations and Nordic cultivars—consequences for management and utilisation

  • S. Fjellheim
  • O. A. RognliEmail author
Original Paper


Genetic diversity and relatedness were studied in 30 Norwegian local populations of meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The populations were also compared with 13 Nordic meadow fescue cultivars in order to analyse the distribution of variation in local populations and cultivars and to elucidate relationships between local populations and cultivars. Analysis of molecular variance (amova) analysis showed that most of the variation was present within populations and that little variation was found between local populations and cultivars. Separate amova analyses of local populations and cultivars revealed a higher level of variation within registered cultivars than within local populations. A cluster analysis based on corrected average pairwise differences between populations showed that the populations could be divided into three clusters, of which one also contained the cultivars. These results were supported by principal coordinates analysis. The results indicate that the Norwegian meadow fescue has a narrow genetic basis and that the local populations in Norway can be divided into three groups following the most probable routes of introduction of the species into Norway. The inland populations are closely related to the cultivars and have most probably been established as a result of migration from sown meadows. The western and southern populations probably originate from human activity—for example, trade—to the coastal western and northern parts of the country and to the central parts of southern Norway.


Amplify Fragment Length Polymorphism Amplify Fragment Length Polymorphism Marker Southern Population Amplify Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis Genetic Diversity Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This investigation was supported by a grant from the NGB (project no. AG4 19). The authors thank Zanina Grieg, Vibeke Alm and Ingvild Marum for their excellent technical assistance, Anders Bryn for help with creating the sample map and Robert Koebner, Siri Grønnerød and Reidar Elven for their helpful comments on the manuscript.


  1. Alm V, Fang C, Busso CS, Devos KM, Vollan K, Grieg Z, Rognli OA (2003) A linkage map of meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) and comparative mapping with other Poaceae species. Theor Appl Genet 108:25–40CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Balfourier F, Charmet G, Ravel C (1998) Genetic differentiation within and between natural populations of perennial and annual ryegrass (Lolium perenne and L. rigidum). Heredity 81:100–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blytt MN (1861) Norges flora, eller beskrivelser over de I Norge vildtvoxende karplanter: tilligemed angivelser af de geographiske forholde, under hvilke de forekomme: 1ste deel. Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab, ChristianiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Chowdhury MA, Slinkard AE (2000) Genetic diversity in grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.). Genet Resour Crop Evol 47:163–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cresswell A, Sackville Hamilton NR, Roy AK, Viegas MF (2001) Use of amplified length polymorphism markers to assess genetic diversity of Lolium species from Portugal. Mol Ecol 10:229–241CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Donini P, Elias ML, Bougourd SM, Koebner RMD (1997) AFLP fingerprinting reveals pattern differences between template DNA extracted from different plant organs. Genome 40:521–526Google Scholar
  7. Elven R (1994) Lid & Lids Norsk flora, 6th edn. Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  8. Excoffier L, Smouse PE, Quattro JM (1992) Analysis of molecular variance inferred from metric distances among DNA haplotypes—application to human mitochondrial-DNA restriction data. Genetics 131:479–491PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Fægri K (1960) Maps of distribution of Norwegian plants 1. The coast plants. Skrifter Universitetet I Bergen 26, Oslo University Press, OsloGoogle Scholar
  10. Fjellheim S, Rognli OA (2005) Genetic diversity within and among Nordic meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) cultivars based on AFLP markers. Crop Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Glærum O (1914) Engdyrkning og enkulturforsøk. In: Ødegaard N, Vik K, Klokk O (eds) Norsk Forsøksarbeid I Jordbruket. Grøndahl & Søns Forlag, KristianiaGoogle Scholar
  12. Grivet D, Petit RJ (2003) Chloroplast DNA phylogeography of the hornbeam in Europe: evidence for a bottleneck at the outset of postglacial colonization. Conserv Genet 4:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guthridge KM, Dupal MP, Kölliker R, Jones ES, Smith KF, Forster JW (2001) AFLP analysis of genetic diversity within and between populations of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Euphytica 122:191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hasund S (1925) Norges Landbruk 1875–1925. In: Lantbruket I Norden 1875–1925. Göteborgs Litografiska Aktiebolag, Göteborg, Sverige, pp 329–449Google Scholar
  15. Hepburn AG, Belanger FC, Mattheis JR (1987) DNA methylation in plants. Dev Genet 8:475–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Humphreys M, Humphreys J, Donnison I, King I, Thomas HM, Ghesquiere M, Durand JL, Rognli OA, Zwierzykowski Z, Rapacz M (2004) Molecular breeding and functional genomics for tolerance to abiotic stress. In: Hopkins A, Wang ZY, Mian R, Sledge M, Barker RE (eds) Molecular breeding of forage and turf. Dev Plant Breed 11:61–80Google Scholar
  17. Karp A, Seberg O, Buiatti M (1996) Molecular techniques in the assessment of botanical diversity. Ann Bot 78:143–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kölliker R, Stadelmann FJ, Reidy B, Nosberger J (1998) Fertilization and defoliation frequency affect genetic diversity of Festuca pratensis Huds. in permanent grasslands. Mol Ecol 7:1557–1567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lundqvist A (1962) The nature of the two-loci incompatibility system in grasses. II. Number of alleles at the incompatibility loci in Festuca pratensis Huds. Hereditas 48:169–181Google Scholar
  20. Lynch M, Milligan BG (1994) Analysis of population genetic structure with RAPD markers. Mol Ecol 3:91–99PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Nei M (1987) Molecular evolutionary genetics. Columbia University Press, New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. Nybom H (2004) Comparison of different nuclear DNA markers for estimating intraspecific genetic diversity in plants. Mol Ecol 13:1143–1155CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Rognli OA, Nilsson NO, Nurminiemi M (2000) Effects of distance and pollen competition on gene flow in the wind-pollinated grass Festuca pratensis Huds. Heredity 85:550–560CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Rohlf FJ (2000) ntsys-pc. Numerical taxonomy and multivariate analysis system, version 2.1. Exeter Software, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. Schneider S, Roessli D, Excoffier L (2000) arlequin ver. 2.0: a software for population genetics data analysis. Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, University of Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  26. Sharp PJ, Kreis M, Shewry PR, Gale MD (1988) Location of beta amylase sequences in wheat and its relatives. Theor Appl Genet 75:286–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stewart CN, Excoffier L (1996) Assessing population genetic structure and variability with RAPD data: Application to Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry). J Evol Biol 9:153–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tajima F (1983) Evolutionary relationship of DNA sequences in finite populations. Genetics 105:437–460PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Tajima F (1993) Measurement of DNA polymorphism. In: Takahata N, Clark AG (eds) Mechanisms of molecular evolution. Introduction to molecular paleopopulation biology. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, pp 37–59Google Scholar
  30. Theiss G, Follmann H (1980) 5-Methylcytosine formation in wheat embryo DNA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 94:291–297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Vavilov NI (1940) The new systematics of cultivated plants. In: Huxley J (ed) The new systematics. Clarendon press, Oxford, pp 549–566Google Scholar
  32. Vos P, Hogers R, Bleeker M, Reijans M, Vandelee T, Hornes M, Frijters A, Pot J, Peleman J, Kuiper M, Zabeau M (1995) AFLP—a new technique for DNA-fingerprinting. Nucleic Acids Res 23:4407–4414PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Yamada T, Momotaz A (2004) Usefulness of simple sequence repeat (SSR) polymorphism for the breeding programs in Festulolium. In: Yamada T, Takamizo T (eds) Development of a novel grass with environmental stress tolerance and high forage quality through intergeneric hybridization between Lolium and Festuca. National Agriculture and Bio-oriented Research Organization, pp 43–48Google Scholar
  34. Zhivotovsky LA (1999) Estimating population structure in diploids with multilocus dominant DNA markers. Mol Ecol 8:907–913CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food ScienceNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway

Personalised recommendations