Submitted to: International Turfgrass Science Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2005
Publication Date: 7/10/2005
Citation: Chen, Z., Kim, W., Newman, M.L., aka Harrison Dunn, M.L., Wang, M.L., Raymer, P. 2005. Molecular characterization of genetic diversity in the usda seashore paspalum germplasm collection. International Turfgrass Science Journal. 10:543-549.
Interpretive Summary: Seashore paspalum, Paspalum vaginatum O. Swartz is being widely used as a salt-tolerant turfgrass on golf courses, sports fields and general landscaping. The collection of Paspalum germplasm is maintained at PGRCU, Griffin, GA. For efficient preservation and utilization, these accessions need to be characterized and classified genetically. These accessionos can be characterized and classified with DNA markers (for example, SSR markers) however there are not many markers available from Paspalum. Development of SSR markers is time consuming and expensive. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) is one kind of DNA marker which is not expensive and ready to use. This paper reports the genetic diversity of seashore paspalum accessed by AFLP. The results provides useful information for preservation, collection, and utilization of paspalum germplasm.
Technical Abstract: Seashore paspalum, Paspalum vaginatum O. Swartz, evolved in the coastal ecosystems of tropical and subtropical regions where frequent inundations with seawater and extremely sandy soils are common. As a result, seashore paspalum has developed tolerances to extreme environmental conditions, such as high salinity, water logging, water deficiency or drought, a wide range of soil water pH, and low light intensity. Thus, seashore paspalum is now being widely used as a salt-tolerant turfgrass on golf courses, sports fields, and for general landscaping. A collection of seashore paspalum ecotypes was assembled in the 1990's at the Plant Germplasm Resources Conservation Unit (PGRCU), of USDA-ARS, in Griffin, GA, USA, and genetic diversity of 69 accessions was accessed using amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP). A total of 381 AFLP loci were generated with three primer combinations in seashore paspalum and other paspalum species. All seashore paspalum accessions were clustered into one of three major groups, which is consistent with classification based on leaf type. The highest level of genetic similarity occurred among the accessions from Hawaii. A reduction in the level of genetic diversity occurred successively during the introduction of seashore paspalum from Africa to North America and then to Hawaii and supported the proposed introduction path from Africa to the other regions. Examination of the genetic background of ecotypes from other regions, such as from Asia, Europe, and other parts of Africa is needed to further explore genetic diversity and to determine the center of origin of seashore paspalum.