Characterization of Heterogeneity in Greek Durum Wheat Landraces.
Panayiotis Terzopoulos, GREECE, Agric. Univ. of Athens, Agriculture University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens, 11855, GREECE and Penelope Bebeli, Plant Breeding and Biometry, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens, Greece.
Landraces are locally adapted, diverse populations and constitute important genetic resources for plant breeding programs. On farm conservation of landraces, additionally to ex situ, is imperative for the avoidance of their genetic erosion. The on farm method can be undertaken by the farmers practice sustainable agriculture systems. However, landraces are heterogeneous populations maybe composed of several subpopulations, and in some cases it is difficult to specify their identity. Furthermore, farmers may choose only some of the subpopulations from initial landrace for subsequent cultivation. It is questionable that if these choices can lead to a new genetic erosion. To answer these questions, we characterized 18 Greek durum wheat landraces using 12 morphological traits. Phenotypic diversity was estimated by applying Nei’s genetic statistics. Using the data of the awn presence and color, in addition to glume color and hairiness, landraces were classified into 2 to 5 subpopulations. In the subsequent year, the derived subpopulations were planted and phenotypic diversity of each subpopulation was estimated. As a result the subpopulations were more homogeneous (0.19 phenotypic diversity) and they had a more specific identity than the initial landraces (0.36 phenotypic diversity). The ISSR technique was applied on DNA samples extracted from each subpopulation with 5 di-generated ISSR primers. The data was analyzed using the UPGMA cluster analysis based on Jaccard’s similarity coefficient. In most of the cases subpopulations derived from the same landrace had different phenotypic identity. However, based on the ISSR data, those subpopulations could still be grouped together indicating that they have the same genetic base. Conclusively, based on the results of the present study, farmers can use the derived subpopulations without significant losses of alleles.