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Patterns of introduction and diversification of Vanilla planifolia (Orchidaceae) in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean)
- Bory, Severine, Lubinsky, Pesach, Risterucci, Ange-Marie, Noyer, Jean-Louis, Grisoni, Michel, Duval, Marie-France, Besse, Pascale
- American journal of botany 2008 v.95 no.7 pp. 805-815
- Vanilla planifolia, amplified fragment length polymorphism, cultivars, genetic variation, islands, phenotype, phenotypic variation, point mutation, pollination, pollinators, resource management, sexual reproduction, somatic mutation, Indian Ocean, Reunion
- The cultivated species Vanilla planifolia is a typical example of a crop introduced from its area of origin (America) to new regions where natural pollinators are absent. Although the Vanilla cultivars are exclusively vegetatively propagated, a high degree of phenotypic variation is observed among the cultivars in their introduction areas such as Reunion Island. To test several hypotheses explaining this variation--different introduction events, somatic mutations and sexual reproduction (through manual pollination)--we used AFLP markers to elucidate the patterns of introduction of V. planifolia. Most of the accessions cultivated in the world were derived from a single accession, possibly the Mexican cultivar Mansa. The patterns of diversification of this cultivated species were also studied and compared with other cultivated (V. tahitensis) and wild (V. pompona and V. bahiana) species. Except for one particular phenotype ('Aiguille'), which may come from sexual reproduction, cultivated accessions exhibit very low levels of genetic diversity. They have evolved by the accumulation of point mutations through vegetative multiplication. The genetic diversity revealed could not explain the phenotypic diversity, which may be related to epigenetics or polyploidy. This new understanding of the basis of genetic diversity of vanilla may assist to improve management of genetic resources.