Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity of Cherry Species Collected in Serbia
Barac, G.; Ognjanov, V.; Obreht, D.; Ljubojevic, M.; Bosnjakovic, D.; Pejic, I.; Gasic, K.
Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 32(1): 92-108
Genetic diversity of cherry species collected in Serbia has been investigated using 26 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers developed in Prunus. This material consisted of 77 cherry accessions corresponding to the five following species, Prunus cerasus, Prunus avium, Prunus fruticosa, Prunus mahaleb, and Prunus serrulata. A total of 98 alleles were detected, with an average of 3.7 putative alleles per primer combination. Sixteen unique, species-specific, alleles were detected with nine primer pairs in four species, P. avium, P. cerasus, P. mahaleb, and P. serrulata. The highest number of unique alleles, 8, was observed in P. mahaleb and no species-specific alleles were detected in P. fruticosa. SSR markers generated unique fingerprints for all cherry accessions. Cluster analysis classified accessions into four groups according to their taxonomy, where P. avium and P. cerasus were grouped together, supporting P. avium as one of the progenitors of sour cherry. The highest genetic variability and potential value in rootstock breeding was observed in P. mahaleb and P. serrulata material. Principal component (PC) analysis explained more than 50 % of the total observed phenotypic variability using the first two components. The most important characteristics of PC1 were leaf length and width, fruit taste, color of leaf nectaries, fruit weight, leaf blade margin incisions, petiole length, size of vegetative buds, and length of internode. The most important characteristics of PC2 were shape of leaf blade at base, fruit skin color, and leaf blade length and tip angle. The investigated germplasm proved to be sufficiently genetically diverse for use in breeding programs and development of new cherry cultivars and rootstocks.