Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 243–259 | Cite as

Exploration of genetic diversity within Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus with focus on the gene pool of industrial chicory

  • P. RaulierEmail author
  • O. Maudoux
  • C. Notté
  • X. Draye
  • P. Bertin
Research Article


The present study used 15 simple sequence repeat loci to characterize the genetic diversity of the germplasm that originated the current industrial chicory and to establish the relationships between and inside Cichorium intybus L. and Cichorium endivia L. Initially we analyzed 19 cultivated C. endivia accessions, 27 wild and 155 cultivated C. intybus accessions distributed among three groups: 83 root chicories, 42 Witloof and 30 leaf chicories. The leaf chicories comprised cultivars corresponding to the Radicchio, Sugarloaf and Catalogne subgroups. The latter has not been previously included in any genetic diversity study. Subsequently, 1297 individuals from the 15 modern root chicory cultivars at the origin of the breeding of the current industrial root chicory cultivars were analyzed. Although the accessions of C. endivia and C. intybus were clearly separated from each other, seven wild C. intybus individuals were genetically closer to C. endivia than to C. intybus, revealing complex genetic interrelationships between these species. The differentiation of C. intybus into three cultivar groups (Witloof, root chicory and leaf chicory) was confirmed. The leaf chicory individuals were divided into three genetic subgroups, corresponding to the Radicchio, Sugarloaf and Catalogne cultivars, thus attesting to the validity of the classification based on morphological factors. Clear differentiation was observed among the Belgian, Polish and Austrian modern industrial root cultivars, but not among the French industrial modern root cultivars. The high phenotypic and genetic variability of the modern industrial root cultivars indicates that this germplasm constitutes a useful gene pool for cultivar improvement and selection.


Cichoriumintybus Cichorium endivia Industrial chicory Genetic diversity SSR 



Amplified fragment length polymorphism


Analysis of molecular variance


Distance proportion of shared alleles


Fixation index


Internal transcribed spacer


Polymorphism index content


Simple sequence repeat


Principal component analyses


Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean



The authors acknowledge the Walloon Region (DGARNE-Belgium) for supporting this research (Grant D31-1221).

Conflict of interest

O. Maudoux and C. Notté are employees of Cosucra-Groupe Warcoing S.A.

Supplementary material

10722_2015_244_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (12 kb)
Supplementary material E.S.M. 1 (A & B) Principal component analysis (PCA) of the C. endivia and C. intybus cultivar groups (first panel). The red square corresponds to the wild C. intybus individuals from Iraq, Pakistan, and the Syrian Arab Republic. (C) PCA of the Witloof group only. (D) PCA of the leaf chicory cultivars. (PDF 12 kb)
10722_2015_244_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
Supplementary material E.S.M. 2 Principal component analysis of the 15 modern industrial chicory cultivars (second panel). Numbers in ellipses represent the 95% confidence interval of the different groups (PDF 105 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Raulier
    • 1
    Email author
  • O. Maudoux
    • 2
  • C. Notté
    • 2
  • X. Draye
    • 1
  • P. Bertin
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth and Life InstituteUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Chicoline-CosucraWarcoingBelgium

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