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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic Characterization of Edible Bulbous Leek-Like Accessions and Their Genetic Relationships with Morphologically Similar Forms of Allium Species

Authors
item Bohanec, Borut - CEN. PLANT BIO. SLOVENIA
item Havey, Michael
item Jakse, M - CEN. PLANT BIO. SLOVENIA
item Sesek, P - CEN. PLANT BIO. SLOVENIA

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 21, 2005
Publication Date: October 12, 2005
Citation: Bohanec, B., Havey, M.J., Jakse, M., Sesek, P. 2005. Genetic characterization of edible bulbous leek-like accessions and their genetic relationships with morphologically similar forms of allium species. HortScience. 40:1690—1694.

Interpretive Summary: Bulbous leek-like plants are a poorly defined group of cultivated plants usually assigned to Allium ampeloprasum. Studies were initiated to determine origin of an unusual bulbous accession obtained from Shanxi province in China, where it was used in diet as garlic but propagated by seeds, and to genetically compare this accession with morphologically similar plants from Europe. Genetic analyses included chromosome analyses, pollination to leek, genome size determinations, and nuclear ribosomal DNA and plastid DNA polymorphisms. Results revealed that this agriculturally interesting accession from China is one of so far unknown variants within A. ampeloprasum. On the other hand genetic analysis of great-headed garlic revealed, that this form is distinct both from bulbous leeks and from other forms of A. ampeloprasum (as believed to belong so far) and garlic, but is genetically closer to A. polyanthum and A. commutatum. We suggest that the taxonomic classification of great-headed garlic should be reconsidered. These results are useful because they reveal that unique cultivated forms of A. ampeloprasum exist and these may be developed by horticulturists and producers as new vegetables.

Technical Abstract: Bulbous leek-like plants are a poorly defined group usually assigned to the Allium ampeloprasum complex. Studies were initiated to determine origin of an unusual bulbous accession received in Shanxi province in China, where it was used in diet as garlic but propagated by seeds, and to genetically compare this accession with morphologically similar plants from Europe. Genetic analyses included karyotypes and genomic in situ hybridization, pollination to leek, genome size determination and nuclear rDNA and plastid DNA polymorphisms. Results revealed that this agriculturally interesting accession from China is one of so far unknown variants within A. ampeloprasum. On the other hand genetic analysis of great-headed garlic revealed, that this form is distinct both from bulbous leeks and from other forms of A. ampeloprasum (as believed to belong so far) and garlic but is genetically closer to A. polyanthum and A. commutatum. We suggest that its taxonomic classification should be reconsidered.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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