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AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) analysis of genetic variation in sicilian populations of wild cardoon [Cynara cardunculus L. var. sylvestris (LAMK) FIORI]

Portis, E., Comino, C., Acquadro, A., Lanteri, S., Mauromicale, G.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 229-234
Cynara cardunculus, amplified fragment length polymorphism, biomass, biopharmaceuticals, cardoons, genetic heterogeneity, genotype, inulin, leaves, lignocellulose, luteolin, oils, perennials, plant characteristics, roots, stems
Wild cardoon [Cynara cardunculus L. var. sylvestris (Lamk) Fiori] is a rustic and robust perennial plant with a characteristic rosette of large spiny leaves and branched flowering stems. It is native to the Mediterranean basin where it colonizes dry and uncultivated areas. Wild cardoon has good potential for the production of lignocellulosic biomass, oil from seeds and biopharmaceuticals: i.e. cynarine and luteolin from leaves and inulin from roots. Here we report on the genetic variation in five Sicilian populations of wild cardoon as measured by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Thirty plants were randomly chosen within each populations and evaluated for polymorphism using seven primer combinations. Estimated G(ST) value revealed that most AFLP variation was partitioned within (84%) rather than between (16%) populations. The high level of genetic heterogeneity observed stress the need for the application of selection programmes in order to identify genotypes to be exploited for biomass, oil and biopharmaceutical production.