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BMC Plant Biol. 2012 Apr 17;12:49. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-12-49.

Loss of genetic diversity as a signature of apricot domestication and diffusion into the Mediterranean Basin.

Author information

1
INRA, UMR 1334 Amélioration Génétique et Adaptation des Plantes (AGAP), F-34398, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Domestication generally implies a loss of diversity in crop species relative to their wild ancestors because of genetic drift through bottleneck effects. Compared to native Mediterranean fruit species like olive and grape, the loss of genetic diversity is expected to be more substantial for fruit species introduced into Mediterranean areas such as apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.), which was probably primarily domesticated in China. By comparing genetic diversity among regional apricot gene pools in several Mediterranean areas, we investigated the loss of genetic diversity associated with apricot selection and diffusion into the Mediterranean Basin.

RESULTS:

According to the geographic origin of apricots and using Bayesian clustering of genotypes, Mediterranean apricot (207 genotypes) was structured into three main gene pools: 'Irano-Caucasian', 'North Mediterranean Basin' and 'South Mediterranean Basin'. Among the 25 microsatellite markers used, only one displayed deviations from the frequencies expected under neutrality. Similar genetic diversity parameters were obtained within each of the three main clusters using both all SSR loci and only 24 SSR loci based on the assumption of neutrality. A significant loss of genetic diversity, as assessed by the allelic richness and private allelic richness, was revealed from the 'Irano-Caucasian' gene pool, considered as a secondary centre of diversification, to the northern and southwestern Mediterranean Basin. A substantial proportion of shared alleles was specifically detected when comparing gene pools from the 'North Mediterranean Basin' and 'South Mediterranean Basin' to the secondary centre of diversification.

CONCLUSIONS:

A marked domestication bottleneck was detected with microsatellite markers in the Mediterranean apricot material, depicting a global image of two diffusion routes from the 'Irano-Caucasian' gene pool: North Mediterranean and Southwest Mediterranean. This study generated genetic insight that will be useful for management of Mediterranean apricot germplasm as well as genetic selection programs related to adaptive traits.

PMID:
22510209
PMCID:
PMC3511222
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2229-12-49
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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