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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377171

Research Project: Cranberry Genetics and Insect Management

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: The genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton and V. oxycoccos L., across their ranges in the US, with special emphasis on National Forests

Author
item Zalapa, Juan
item RODRIGUEZ-BONILLA, LORRAINE - University Of Wisconsin
item Williams, Karen
item RODRÍGUEZ-BONILLA, FABIAN - University Of Puerto Rico
item MATUSINEC, DANIEL - University Of Wisconsin
item MAULE, ANDREW - University Of Wisconsin
item COE, KEVIN - University Of Wisconsin
item Wiesman, Eric

Submitted to: Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2020
Publication Date: 10/26/2020
Citation: Zalapa, J.E., Rodriguez-Bonilla, L., Williams, K.A., Rodríguez-Bonilla, F., Matusinec, D., Maule, A., Coe, K., Wiesman, E.C. 2020. The genetic diversity of crop wild relatives, Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton and V. oxycoccos L., across their ranges in the US, with special emphasis on National Forests. Plants. Plants 2020, 9, 1446. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111446.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111446

Interpretive Summary: Wild cranberries are important for conservation and future use in breeding and genetic studies. Wild cranberries are widely distributed in the U.S., but little is known about which populations are more important to conserve for future use. We studied 21 populations of wild cranberries and 24 populations of the closest cranberry wild relative across much of their native ranges in the U.S. using genetic markers. We observed high levels of diversity for both species across populations and unique genetic signatures for several populations. Our genetic analyses also confirmed the field identification of a native population of cranberries on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in the state of Washington, far outside the previously reported range for the species. Crop wild relatives are important sources of novel genetic variation for plant breeding and have provided important traits related to productivity and sustainability for many crops. Knowledge of the genetic diversity in populations of these plants can inform effective strategies for their conservation and facilitate utilization to solve agricultural challenges. Our results will help to inform efforts of the Agricultural Research Service and the U.S. Forest Service to conserve the most diverse and unique wild cranberry populations through conservation in designated sites in National Forests.

Technical Abstract: Crop wild relatives are important sources of novel genetic variation for plant breeding and have provided important traits related to productivity and sustainability for many crops. Knowledge of the genetic diversity in populations of these plants can inform effective strategies for their conservation and facilitate utilization to solve agricultural challenges. Wild relatives of the cultivated cranberry are widely distributed in the U.S. We studied 21 populations of Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton and 24 populations of V. oxycoccos L. across much of their native ranges in the U.S. using 32 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. We observed high levels of heterozygosity for both species across populations and private alleles ranging from 0 to 26. For V. macrocarpon, we found a total of 613 alleles and high levels of heterozygosity (HO=0.99, HT=0.75). We also observed high numbers of alleles (881) and levels of heterozygosity (HO=0.71, HT=0.80) in V. oxycoccos (4x). Our genetic analyses confirmed the field identification of a native population of V. macrocarpon on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in the state of Washington, far outside the previously reported range for the species. Our results will help to inform efforts of the Agricultural Research Service and the U.S. Forest Service to conserve the most diverse and unique wild cranberry populations through ex situ preservation of germplasm and in situ conservation in designated sites in National Forests.