Genetic diversity in local cultivars of garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) conserved ‘on farm’ and in historical collections
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During a national Swedish collection mission of vegetable varieties conserved ‘on farm’ more than 70 pea accessions were obtained, many of which had been grown locally for more than 100 years. In spite of a likely origin in the multitude of obsolete commercial pea varieties available on the Swedish seed market in the nineteenth century, the rediscovered local cultivars have lost their original names and cultivar identity while being maintained ‘on farm’. To analyze genetic diversity in the repatriated material, 20 accessions were genotyped with twelve SSR markers and compared with 15 obsolete cultivars kept in genebanks and 13 cultivars preserved as non-viable seeds collected in 1877–1918. Most of the local cultivars were genetically distinct from each other, and in only a few cases could a possible origin in a tested obsolete cultivar be suggested. These results reflect the wide diversity of pea cultivars present in Sweden during the nineteenth century. Both between and within accession genetic diversity was larger among the historical samples of obsolete cultivars compared to local cultivars and cultivars preserved in genebanks, indicating genetic erosion over time both in genebanks and during conservation ‘on farm’. The constraints on identifying and verifying historical cultivars using genetic markers are discussed.
KeywordsCultivar identification Genetic differentiation Pea Pisum sativum L. SSRs
We thank Svein Solberg and Fredrik Ottosson at the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen), Alnarp, Sweden; Mike Ambrose at John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK and Ann-Charlotte Öberg at Vänersborgs museum, Vänersborg, Sweden for kindly providing the seed material. This work was funded by the Lagersberg foundation, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA).
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