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Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Broomcorn Sorghum Investigated with Simple Sequence Repeat Markers


In order to study the genetic diversity and population structure of broomcorn, a special type of sorghum for broom making, a total of 140 accessions of sorghum varieties including broomcorn (72), half-broomcorn (4), non-broomcorn (64) accessions were genotyped by using 45 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers that are evenly distributed throughout the sorghum genome. These genotyping analyses demonstrated that the average values of NA (number of alleles per locus), PIC (polymorphism information content) and He (genetic diversity/expected heterozygosity) of the broomcorn accessions were 9.09, 0.60 and 0.63, respectively, which were higher than that of the half-broomcorn accessions (NA, 2.64; PIC, 0.46; He, 0.52) but lower than that of the non-broomcorn accessions (NA, 11.69; PIC, 0.73; He, 0.75). These results implied that the genetic diversity of broomcorn is not as abundant as that of non-broomcorn, and the genetic diversity level of broomcorn is relatively rich. Moreover, the STRUCTURE analysis, phylogenetic analysis and principle coordinate analysis (PCoA) indicated that most of broomcorn collections from Ethiopia (Africa) and Turkey (West Asia) were clustered into one group whereas a majority of broomcorn accessions from East Asia (China, South Korea) were grouped into another group. Two broomcorn individuals from Africa (Sudan) belonged to another distinctive group. These results suggest that broomcorn possesses a wide genetic background and can be divided into three types of differentiation. The information of this study is useful for the understanding of domesticating history and broomcorn differentiations.

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This research was supported by The National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFD1000706/2018YFD1000700). We thank the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System ( for the provision of part of broomcorn materials in this study.

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Correspondence to Hongwei Cai.

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Communicated by: Ray Ming

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Figure S1

The number of K groups that best fit the dataset (containing 140 individuals genotyped for 45 polymorphic microsatellite loci) detected by the Evanno method. (PNG 88 kb)

Figure S2

Population structures of the 140 sorghum accessions based on the 45 nuclear SSR markers (K = 3). (PNG 500 kb)

Figure S3

The panicle morphology of broomcorn, half-broomcorn and non-broomcorn. SHANGZHUANG, PI 19770 and BTx623 were selected as the sample of broomcorn, half-broomcorn and non-broomcorn, respectively. The red asterisk represents the position of panicle rachis node. (PNG 944 kb)

Figure S4

Geographic origins for 140 sorghum accessions. According to geographical distribution, 24 countries are classified into 6 continents (Africa, America, East Asia, Europe, South and Southeast Asia, West Asia). Each continent is color-coded by different colors (yellow, light rose, bright blue, purple, orange, grass green), respectively. The horizontal axis and the vertical axis represent longitude and latitude, respectively. The circle sizes represent the sample sizes. (PNG 500 kb)

High Resolution Image (TIF 1909 kb)

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Table S1

Genetic diversity and sequence information of the 45 SSR markers. (XLSX 17 kb)

Table S2

The 140 sorghum accessions used in the study with the information of panicle types, geographic regions and sources. (XLSX 21 kb)

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Zhu, M., Chen, J., Yuyama, N. et al. Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Broomcorn Sorghum Investigated with Simple Sequence Repeat Markers. Tropical Plant Biol. 13, 62–72 (2020).

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  • Broomcorn
  • Genetic diversity
  • Population structure
  • Differentiation
  • Sorghum