Main content area

Identification and genetic structure of wild Italian Humulus lupulus L. and comparison with European and American hop cultivars using nuclear microsatellite markers

Rodolfi, Margherita, Silvanini, Annalisa, Chiancone, Benedetta, Marieschi, Matteo, Fabbri, Andrea, Bruni, Renato, Ganino, Tommaso
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2018 v.65 no.5 pp. 1405-1422
Bayesian theory, Humulus lupulus, alleles, biodiversity, breeding programs, cultivars, gene frequency, genetic markers, genetic variation, genotype, germplasm, hops, loci, microsatellite repeats, wild relatives, Italy, United States
Nine genic SSR loci were used to evaluate the genetic diversity and identify accessions in wild Italian Humulus lupulus L., in comparison with widely cultivated European and U.S. commercial cultivars. A collection of 80 wild hop samples from Italy and 43 hop cultivars from Europe and U.S., were characterized. Allelic frequency analysis revealed 65 distinct Italian genotypes and differentiated all the commercial cultivars; moreover, specific alleles were observed for wild and cultivated hops. The number of alleles identified in the wild population were 104 and 123 within all the accessions. The maximum polymorphic information content was evidenced for locus HlGA23 in the Italian wild population and in the whole set of accessions (0.905 and 0.902 respectively). The dendrogram constructed from Euclidean distance with the UPGMA method showed two main clusters, one including commercial American and European accessions and one mostly composed by wild Italian accessions. Model-based clustering (Bayesian method) placed the accessions into five germplasm groups, one of which was characterized by Italian genotypes only. The study showed for the first time the great biodiversity present in Italy, and the remarkable differences with European and American hops. It was also found that within the population of north-central Italy a large genetic variability is present, suited to be studied and exploited; this genetic wealth could be used in future breeding programs in order to develop new hop varieties carrying characteristics useful for brewers.