RESEARCH TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRESERVING PLANT GENETIC DIVERSITY IN EX SITU GENEBANKS
Location: Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit
Title: Genetic diversity of wild European and Mediterranean pear species
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 17, 2012
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Citation: Volk, G.M., Richards, C.M., Henk, A.D., Bassil, N.V., Postman, J.D. 2012. Genetic diversity of wild European and Mediterranean pear species (abstract). 6th Rosaceous Genomics Conference (RGC6). September 30 - October 4, 2012, Trento, Italy. p. 130-131.
Many pear species are native to Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. These seemingly distinct species readily hybridize resulting in nomenclatures that do not reflect their phylogenetic history. We have used microsatellite and chloroplast sequence markers as well as phenotypic traits to differentiate between European and Mediterranean wild pear species in the world pear collection at the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon. Species include Pyrus communis, P. eleagrifolia, P. gharbiana, P. mamorensis, P. regelii, P. sachokiana, P. salicifolia, P. spinosa, and P. syriaca. We took a population genetic approach when evaluating the diversity within and among these described species by using a model based clustering method to distinguish genetic lineages. These estimated lineages often contained individual genotypes that were from different species. These groups were then assessed geographically and genetically to better understand specie s distribution and differentiation. Our data revealed hybridization among species as well as diagnostic traits that could be used for species identification. By integrating population genetic and phylogenetic analyses we are able to more completely describe the historical relationships and diversity within these important crop wild relatives.