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Genetic Diversity in Old Portuguese Durum Wheat Cultivars Assessed by Retrotransposon-Based Markers

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Retrotransposon-based markers, such as the inter-retrotransposon-amplified polymorphism (IRAP) and the retrotransposon microsatellite-amplified polymorphism (REMAP) are highly informative, multilocus, and reveal insertional polymorphisms among plant individuals. These markers have been used for evolutionary studies, genetic diversity assessment, DNA fingerprinting, genetic mapping linkage, and for the detection of genetic rearrangements induced by polyploidization. In this study, we used IRAP and REMAP markers to assess the genetic diversity among 51 old Portuguese durum wheat cultivars belonging to 27 botanical varieties and to define their genetic relationships. Five IRAP and four REMAP primer combinations were used. IRAP markers revealed 66.3% of polymorphism and an average of 18.4 bands per primer combination which ranged in size from 450 to 3,100 bp. The REMAP technique allowed the detection of 86.36% of inter-cultivar polymorphism and an average of 11 bands per primer combination. The molecular weight of the REMAP bands ranged from 250 to 2,750 bp. The durum wheat cultivars analyzed here belong to 27 botanical varieties of the subspecies Triticum turgidum subsp. turgidum L. [syn. T. turgidum] and Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum [syn. T. durum] (Desf.) Husn.. Our results showed that the genetic variability assessed by both the IRAP and REMAP markers did not allow the clustering of the durum wheat cultivars according to their taxonomical criteria (subspecies or botanical variety) or homonymy. Nonetheless, these markers were useful for the assessment of genetic diversity at the individual level, for the definition of genetic relationships among cultivars, and for estimation of the genetic structure of the Old collection under analysis. The achieved data could be valuable for future experiments of DNA fingerprinting, genetic improvement, and germplasm conservation in wheat.

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This work was supported by the PTDC/AGR-GPL/65876/2006 project and the Ph.D. grant SFRH/BD/17348/2004, both financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and the Technology (FCT).

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Correspondence to José Eduardo Lima-Brito.

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Carvalho, A., Guedes-Pinto, H. & Lima-Brito, J.E. Genetic Diversity in Old Portuguese Durum Wheat Cultivars Assessed by Retrotransposon-Based Markers. Plant Mol Biol Rep 30, 578–589 (2012).

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