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Genetic variability of Aristotelia chilensis (“maqui”) based on AFLP and chloroplast microsatellite markers

Salgado, Paola, Prinz, Kathleen, Finkeldey, Reiner, Ramírez, Claudio C., Vogel, Hermine
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2017 v.64 no.8 pp. 2083-2091
Aristotelia chilensis, Bayesian theory, amplified fragment length polymorphism, antioxidant activity, breeding, chloroplasts, dioecy, genetic markers, genetic variation, haplotypes, indigenous species, microsatellite repeats, provenance, trees, Argentina, Chile
Aristotelia chilensis (Molina) Stuntz (Elaeocarpaceae) also known as “maqui” is a dioecious tree species native to Chile and neighbouring zones of Argentina. Its fruit is collected from the wild by locals for consumption, and recently, as a raw material for industrial processing because of its high antioxidant capacity. As a consequence of its increasing demand, sustainable production is required. To study intraspecific diversity patterns we therefore analysed 58 accessions, growing in the Experimental Station of Universidad de Talca and originating from eight wild populations, using AFLPs and chloroplast microsatellites. Only 5% of the variability could be attributed to the provenance, whereas 95% was found between individuals of the same population. A significant correlation between genetic differentiation and geographic distances was detected (r = 0.51). Bayesian analysis revealed four main genetic groups, which are not correlated to the provenances. Two chloroplast microsatellite primers revealed two haplotypes of which one was detected in individuals from all the populations, whereas the other was only present in the two northernmost populations. The genetic variability found for this species provides an excellent basis for further selection and breeding.