Molecular analysis of introgressive breeding in coffee (Coffea arabica L.)
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Nineteen arabica coffee introgression lines (BC1F4) and two accessions derived from a spontaneous interspecific cross (i.e. Timor Hybrid) between Coffea arabica (2n=4x=44) and C. canephora (2n=2x=22) were analysed for the introgression of C. canephora genetic material. The Timor Hybrid-derived genotypes were evaluated by AFLP, using 42 different primer combinations, and compared to 23 accessions of C. arabica and 8 accessions of C. canephora. A total of 1062 polymorphic fragments were scored among the 52 accessions analysed. One hundred and seventy-eight markers consisting of 109 additional bands (i.e. introgressed markers) and 69 missing bands distinguished the group composed of the Timor Hybrid-derived genotypes from the accessions of C. arabica. AFLP therefore seemed to be an extremely efficient technique for DNA marker generation in coffee as well as for the detection of introgression in C. arabica. The genetic diversity observed in the Timor Hybrid-derived genotypes appeared to be approximately double that in C. arabica. Although representing only a small proportion of the genetic diversity available in C. canephora, the Timor Hybrid obviously constitutes a considerable source of genetic diversity for arabica breeding. Analysis of genetic relationships among the Timor Hybrid-derived genotypes suggested that introgression was not restricted to chromosome substitution but also involved chromosome recombinations. Furthermore, the Timor Hybrid-derived genotypes varied considerably in the number of AFLP markers attributable to introgression. In this way, the introgressed markers identified in the analysed arabica coffee introgressed genotypes were estimated to represent from 9% to 29% of the C. canephora genome. Nevertheless, the amount of alien genetic material in the introgression arabica lines remains substantial and should justify the development of adapted breeding strategies.
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