Genetic diversity of the Vigna Germplasm from Thailand and Neighboring Regions Revealed by AFLP Analysis

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Thailand is a center of diversity for section Angulares of the Asian Vigna (genus Vigna subgenus Ceratotropis) and 4 Vigna species are cultivated in Thailand. Using newly collected wild and cultivated germplasm of Vigna from Thailand and outgroup accessions AFLP analysis was conducted to clarify genetic diversity and relationships. The results suggest that cultivated V. umbellata and V. mungo evolved from wild relatives in a single domestication event. Vigna umbellata is poorly differentiated from its wild and weedy relatives compared to V. mungo. Results suggest northern Thailand and the neighboring Shan state, Myanmar, is the probable center of domestication for V. umbellata as wild accessions from this area and cultivated rice bean from a wide area in Asia are not greatly diverged. Vigna minima, V. tenuicaulis and V. exilis accessions in Thailand are well differentiated with considerable intra-specific variation. Vigna hirtella consists of two well differentiated subgroups, suggesting taxonomic revision may be necessary. Close genetic relationships between V. radiata and V. grandiflora, and between V. mungo and V. trinervia are confirmed. Naturally growing V. mungo populations in northern Thailand appear to be true wild species as they are well differentiated from Indian wild and Thai cultivated populations. The origin of naturally growing cowpea in Thailand needs to be further studied using a more comprehensive set of materials. This study clarifies inter and intra-specific genetic diversity and inter species relationships of Thai Vigna species.

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