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Genetic diversity of Pistachio (Pistacia vera, Anacardiaceae) Germplasm based on Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers

Diversidad genética en germoplasma de pistachero (Pistacia vera L.) basada en marcadores de ADN polimórfico amplificado al azar (RAPDs)


We used Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers to examine patterns of relatedness among 29 pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) cultivars and accessions. These included 13 cultivars that we had previously described, and an additional 16 items from the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository/Davis comprising cultivars and land races originating further east of the cultivars described previously, and material from wild P. vera stands in or near the putative center of origin for pistachio in South Central Asia. The results show high levels of polymorphism in the species emphasizing the importance of preservation of the remaining wild stands of P. vera. Analyses support the concept that cultivars in use west of the Zagros-Caucasus ranges likely originate from a limited germplasm base. The newly examined cultivated material shows greater genetic diversity, consistent with the hypothesis that pistachio cultivation originated in or near South Central Asia. Results also indicate that for at least two cases, material identified differently in two collections are the same clones, thus illustrating the value of molecular marker techniques in describing and maintaining germplasm collections for clonally propagated species.


En este trabajo se ha empleado la técnica del ADN polimórfico amplificado al azar (RAPD) para examinar la similitud genética entre 29 cultivares y accesiones de pistachero (Pistacia vera L). Este material incluye 13 cultivares considerados en un trabajo anterior y 16 nuevas accesiones del Banco Nacional de Germoplasma Clonal del USDA en Davis que incluyen cultivares y razas locales de regiones más orientales que las consideradas anteriormente así como material procedente de basques naturales de P. vera situados en las proximidades del presunto centro de origen del pistachero. Los resultados obtenidos muestran un alto grado de polimorfismo, lo que indica la necesidad de conservar el germoplasma de P. vera todavía existente en estado natural. Además se confirma la hipótesis de que los cultivares procedentes del oeste de la zona Caucásica y del Zagros se originaron a partir de una base genética limitada. El nuevo material estudiado muestra una mayor diversidad genética lo que corrobora la idea de que el cultivo del pistachero se inició en Asia Central. Al menos en dos de los casos estudiados, el material identificado en dos colecciones diferentes como distintos genotipos, en realidad se trata del mismo clon, lo que demuestra la utilidad de los marcadores moleculares en la descripción y mantenimiento de colecciones de germoplasma en especies de reproducción vegetativa.

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Hormaza, J.I., Plnney, K. & Polito, V.S. Genetic diversity of Pistachio (Pistacia vera, Anacardiaceae) Germplasm based on Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Econ Bot 52, 78–87 (1998).

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Key Words

  • Tree crops
  • RAPDs
  • Pistachio
  • Pistacia vera
  • Germplasm conservation