Allozyme variation in domesticated annual sunflower and its wild relatives
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The annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is a morphologically and genetically variable species composed of wild, weedy, and domesticated forms that are used for ornament, oilseed, and edible seeds. In this study, we evaluated genetic variation in 146 germplasm accessions of wild and domesticated sunflowers using allozyme analysis. Results from this survey showed that wild sunflower exhibits geographically structured genetic variation, as samples from the Great Plains region of the central United States were genetically divergent from accessions from California and the southwestern United States. Sunflower populations from the Great Plains harbored greater allelic diversity than did wild sunflower from the western United States. Comparison of genetic variability in wild and domesticated sunflower by principal coordinate analysis showed these groups to be genetically divergent, in large part due to differences in the frequency of common alleles. Neighbor-Joining analyses of domesticated H. annuus, wild H. annuus and two closely related wild species (H. argophyllus T. & G. and H. petiolaris Nutt.) showed that domesticated sunflowers form a genetically coherent group and that wild sunflowers from the Great Plains may include the most likely progenitor of domesticated sunflowers.
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