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Genetic diversity of some surviving on-farm Italian common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) landraces

Lioi, L., Piergiovanni, A.R., Pignone, D., Puglisi, S., Santantonio, M., Sonnante, G.
Plant breeding 2005 v.124 no.6 pp. 576-581
Phaseolus vulgaris, beans, landraces, genetic variation, amplified fragment length polymorphism, microsatellite repeats, seeds, storage proteins, protein composition, phenotypic variation, Italy
This study was undertaken to estimate the level of variation among and within 33 local populations belonging to seven Italian common bean landraces, by analysing the polymorphism of seed storage proteins, simple sequence repeat (SSR) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. The nutritional seed quality of the landraces studied was also investigated. Results showed that the landraces retain a considerable level of heterogeneity. Use of both biochemical and molecular approaches provided a picture of the genetic diversity of each landrace. Cluster analyses based on Nei's genetic distances and Jaccard's similarity index as defined by SSR and AFLP markers, respectively, showed that all populations clustered into two groups corresponding to the Andean and the Mesoamerican gene pools. Knowledge of the genetic structure of a landrace is fundamental in elaborating strategies, which involve the local farmers, allowing us to improve and, at the same time, safeguard the genetic integrity of landrace genetic resources.