Chloroplast DNA study in wild populations and some cultivars of Prunus avium L.
The PCR-RFLP technique was used to detect chloroplast DNA diversity in wild populations of Prunus avium from five European deciduous forests and some cultivars. A study of 10.8% of the total chloroplast genome detected eight insertion-deletion (indel) mutations, distributed over 12 haplotypes. Six haplotypes (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6) were found in wild populations and eight (H2, H6, H7, H8, H9, H10, H11 and H12) in the cultivars. Only two haplotypes (H2 and H6) are shared by the wild populations and the cultivars. The most-abundant and frequent haplotype in wild populations is H2 (frequency=78%). The wider geographical distribution along with the high frequency reflects its ancient origin. Of the five populations, three are polymorphic. Populations GA (Scotland) and KE (Germany) have unique haplotypes. The total cpDNA diversity in wild populations is hT=0.40, and a major portion of it is within populations (hS=0.37). The genetic differentiation among populations was low (GSTC=0.08) and no genetic structure among wild populations was observed. A minimum-length spanning tree, demonstrating relationships among the haplotypes in wild populations, indicated two possible chloroplast lineages. The ten identified cultivars were represented by seven haplotypes; this result proposes the possible utilisation of the PCR-RFLP technique for the characterisation of sweet cherry cultivars. The cpDNA diversity in P. avium should be considered carefully for phylogenetic studies involving this species.
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