Genetic Diversity and Relationships in Local Varieties of Eggplant from Different Cultivar Groups as Assessed by Genomic SSR Markers
Spain is a secondary center of diversity for eggplant (Solanum melongena). Spanish landraces of eggplant are normally classified in four cultivar groups: Round, Listada de Gandía, Semi-Long, and Long. We have used 19 genomic SSRs for the molecular characterization of 30 eggplant accessions corresponding to the four cultivar groups. Sixteen SSRs of which 15 were polymorphic could be amplified and 65 polymorphic alleles, with a range of two to 11 alleles/locus, were detected. The polymorphism information content (PIC) of SSR markers ranged from 0.07 to 0.77, with an average value of PIC=0.50. The mean observed heterozygosity (Ho) presented a very low value Ho=0.01, while the mean expected heterozygosity (He) had a value of He=0.57. Multivariate cluster analyses revealed that a considerable diversity exists within each of the cultivar groups. Listada de Gandía and Long cultivar groups were clearly separated from each other in different branches of phenogram. The principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) confirmed that each of the cultivar groups is genetically diverse and, with the exception of the Round group, they plot in different areas of the PCoA graph. Overall, the results indicate that Spanish eggplant landraces present a high degree of homozygosis, considerable intra-cultivar group diversity, and a certain degree of genetic differentiation. This information is of interest for selection and breeding of eggplant as well as for germplasm conservation.
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