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Genetic structure of Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) landraces grown in the Mayan area

Camacho-Pérez, Luciana, Martínez-Castillo, Jaime, Mijangos-Cortés, JavierO., Ferrer-Ortega, MiriamM., Baudoin, JeanPierre, Andueza-Noh, RubénH.
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2018 v.65 no.1 pp. 229-241
Phaseolus lunatus, genetic relationships, genetic variation, highlands, landraces, lima beans, loci, lowlands, microsatellite repeats, planning, provenance, risk, Central America, Mexico
Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) is an important crop in the Mayan culture. The Mayan area, considered as a main center of Mesoamerican diversity, has been divided into two subareas: the Mayan lowlands and the Mayan highlands. The Yucatan Peninsula is part of the Mayan lowlands and holds the highest number of Lima bean landraces of Mexico, but Lima beans are in high risk of genetic erosion due to intensification of the traditional Mayan agriculture. However, information on genetic diversity of Lima beans of the Mayan highlands is lacking. By using 46 landraces collected in the Mayan area (23 from each subarea) and 73 ISSR loci (inter-simple sequence repeats), we analyzed the structure, diversity and genetic relationships of Lima beans of this part of Mesoamerica. High levels of diversity (H BAY = 0.45) and genetic structure (F ST = 0.66) were found for the whole Mayan area. Genetic diversity in the Mayan lowlands was apparently higher than the Mayan highlands (H BAY = 0.44 and 0.36, respectively); but differences were not statistically significant. Genetic structure between the subareas was high (AMOVA = 30% of total variation), most landraces grouping according to their geographic origin. This study shows the importance of the Mayan culture in the diversification and conservation of Lima beans. The results provide important information that should be considered when implementing strategies to collect Lima bean landraces and planning in situ and ex situ programs to conserve these landraces in the Mayan region.