National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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IBBR publication #707

Molecular genetic diversity of Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) as revealed by micro satellite DNA markers (SSR)

Hasnaoui N, Buonamici A, Sebastiani F, Mars M, Zhang D, Vendramin GG

Gene 493: 105-112. [ISSN: 0378-1119] (2012)
doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2011.11.012

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is one of the oldest known edible fruits and more and more it arouse interest of scientific community given its numerous biological activities. However, information about its genetic resources and characterization using reliable molecular markers are still scarce. In the present study, we report the development of 4 new polymorphic SSR markers. They have been used in addition to 11 SSRs previously published to investigate molecular diversity of 33 P. granatum ecotypes. Based on the multi-locus profiles, twenty-two distinctive genotypes were identified. Globally, quite low genetic diversity has been revealed, as measured by allele richness (2.83 per locus) and heterozygosity (He =0.245; Ho =0.243), reflecting the narrow genetic background of the plant material. Four synonymous groups could be detected involving 15 accessions. Results of ordination and cluster analysis suggested that almost all the Tunisian cultivars share similar genetic background, and are likely derived from a small number of introductions in ancient times. Results issued from this study provide essential information to project a pomegranate corecollection without plant material duplication and for sustainable management of pomegranate landraces at national and international level. Furthermore, these SSR markers are powerful tool for marker assisted selection (MAS) program and for QTL studies

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