AFLP and pedigree-based genetic diversity estimates in modern cultivars of durum wheat [Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn.]
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A substantial amount of between and within cultivar genetic variation was detected in all the 13 registered modern Canadian durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum (Desf.) Husn.) cultivars based upon amplified restriction fragment polymorphism (AFLP). Of the approximately 950 detected AFLP markers, only 89 were polymorphic, with 41 between cultivars whereas the remaining 48 showed polymorphism within at least one cultivar. The ancestry of Canadian durum wheat cultivars was traced back to 125 cultivars, selections, and breeding lines including 17 landraces. Mean pair-wise genetic distance based on the kinship coefficient was 0.76. On the other hand, AFLP-based mean pair-wise genetic distance was 0.40. Even though there was a large difference between the means of the two diversity measures, a moderate positive correlation (r=0.457, p<0.002) was detected between the two distance matrices. Cluster analysis with the entire AFLP data divided all cultivars into three major groups reflecting their breeding origins. One group contained ’Pelissier’ alone, which was a selection from a landrace introduced into the US from Algeria. On the other hand such groupings among cultivars were not evident when KIN was used for genetic diversity measures instead. The level of genetic variation among individuals within a cultivar at the breeders’ seed level was estimated based on an inter-haplotypic distance matrix derived from the AFLP data. We found that the level of genetic variation within the most-developed cultivars is fairly substantial despite rigorous selection pressure aimed at cultivar purity in breeding programs. Comparison of AFLP and pedigree-based genetic diversity estimates in crop species such as durum wheat can provide important information for plant improvement.
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