Molecular diversity of Omani wheat revealed by microsatellites:: I. Tetraploid landraces


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Abstract

Results of archaeological studies indicate a millennia-old cultivation history for wheat (Triticum spp.) in Oman. However, in spite of numerous collection surveys and efforts for phenotypic characterization of Omani wheat landraces, no attempts have been made using molecular tools to characterize this germplasm. To fill this gap, 29 microsatellite markers revealing 30 loci were used to study the genetic diversity of 38 tetraploid wheat landrace accessions comprising the species T. dicoccon, T. durum and T. aethiopicum. A total of 219 alleles were detected whereby the number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 16 with an average number of 7.1 alleles per locus. The highest number of alleles occurred in the B genome with on average 7.9 alleles per locus as compared to the A genome with 6.5 alleles per locus. Heterogeneity was detected for all microsatellites except for GWM 312, GWM 601 and GWM 192B with an average heterogeneity over all primers and lines of 14.4%. Approximately 10% of the accessions contained rare alleles with an average allele frequency <4%. Gene diversity across microsatellite loci ranged from 0.26 to 0.85. The pairwise comparison of genetic similarity ranged from 0.03 to 0.91 with an average of 0.2. Cluster analysis revealed a clear separation of the two species groups T. dicoccon versus T. durum and T. aethiopicum. Within the species clusters regional patterns of subclustering were observed. Overall, this study confirmed the existence of a surprisingly high amount of genetic diversity in Omani wheat landraces as already concluded from previous morphological analyses and showed that SSR markers can be used for landraces' analysis and a more detailed diversity evaluation.

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