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Physiol Mol Biol Plants ; 26(6): 1249-1261, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32549687


The present study investigates the genetic diversity and population structure among 42 diverse pomegranate genotypes using a set of twenty one class I hypervariable SSR markers (> 24 bp), which were reported earlier from the analysis of cv. Dabenzi genome. The study material comprised 16 indigenous and 13 exotic cultivars, and 13 wild accessions. A total of 66 alleles (Na) were detected with an average of 3.14 alleles per marker. The average values of polymorphic information content (PIC), observed heterozygosity (Ho) and Shannon's gene diversity index (I) were 0.44, 0.21 and 0.95, respectively suggesting moderate genetic diversity. The pairwise genetic distance ranged from 0.07 to 0.80 with a mean value of 0.53. Population structure analysis divided all the genotypes into four subpopulations (SP1, SP2, SP3 and SP4). Interestingly, the results of phylogenetic and principal component analyses coincided with the results of structure analysis and the grouping of genotypes followed the geographical origins. AMOVA revealed that 25% of the variation was attributed to differences among populations, whereas 75% within the subpopulations with significant F ST value 0.25 (p < 0.001), indicating a high level of genetic differentiations or low level of gene flow. Based on the F ST values, pomegranate genotypes belonging to SP4 (indigenous cultivars) followed by SP1 (exotic lines) exhibited higher gene diversity and genetic differentiations within and among populations. These genetic relationships based on SSR markers could be harnessed in future genetic improvement of pomegranate through informed hybridization programs.