Submitted to: Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2003
Publication Date: 5/18/2003
Citation: STENDAL, C., KAPICH, L., CASLER, M.D. 2003. RAPD MARKERS REVEAL A SWITHGRASS METAPOPULATION IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN USA [abstract]. Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf Conference. p. 151. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial grass native to the North American tallgrass prairie and broadly adapted to the central and eastern USA. Movement of germplasm throughout this region creates the potential of contaminating local gene pools with genes that are not native to a locale. The objective of this study was to identify structural patterns and spatial variation for molecular markers of switchgrass populations from the northern and central USA. The study included 46 populations collected from prairie remnants in the northern USA, from Minnesota to New York and 11 cultivars originating from the Central Great Plains to West Virginia. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were generated for an average of 15 plants per population. A total of 117 bands were scored as polymorphic. Marker frequencies were computed for each band and population, then used to compute a distance matrix among the 57 populations. Four statistical techniques were used to detect spatial variation in RAPD markers: (1) autocorrelation with geographic distance, (2) correlation between molecular and geographic distance matrices, (3) regression of marker frequencies on latitude and longitude of the collection site, and (4) analysis of molecular variation among regions. All four methods led to the same conclusion: there is no spatial variation for RAPD markers in this population of switchgrass. The phenotypic traits that define adaptation of switchgrass populations are probably controlled by relatively few loci. Migration of switchgrass populations between regions will not lead to significant contamination, swamping, or erosion of local gene pools.