Genetic structure within the Mesoamerican gene pool of wild Phaseolus lunatus (Fabaceae) from Mexico as revealed by microsatellite markers: Implications for conservation and the domestication of the species

ABSTRACT: Understanding genetic structure in wild relatives of a crop is important for crop improvement and conservation. Recently, two gene pools (MI and MII) were reported in wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) from Mexico, a domestication center of Mesoamerican landraces. However, the evidence was based on limited genomic sampling. Here we sought to confirm the existence of these two gene pools by increased genome and population sampling. We characterized 67 wild populations of P. lunatus from Mexico with 10 microsatellite loci and studied the genetic structure by means of AMOVA, cluster analyses, assignment tests, and a georeferenced map. AMOVA indicated that most of the variation is found among populations (77%) rather than within populations (23%). Assignment tests were key to confirm not only the presence of the two gene pools (MI and MII) in Mexico, but also to propose the possible existence of two subgroups within MI (MIa and MIb). While MI and MII are mainly divergent geographically, MIa and MIb overlap in their distribution. Admixed individuals, which may represent cases of gene flow among gene pools, were detected. Our results show that the genetic structure of wild Lima bean in Mexico is more complex than previously thought and propose the presence of three gene pools (MIa, MIb, and MII), each one possessing relatively high levels of genetic diversity. We still need additional evidence, however, to confirm without doubt the split of the gene pool MI into subgroups MIa and MIb.

Category: Papers Genetic diversity Conservation
Authors: Castillo, J.M. et al.
Publication Year: 2014

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