Genetic Diversity of some Iranian Sweet Cherry (Prunus Avium) Cultivars using Microsatellite Markers and Morphological Traits
Farsad, A.; Esna-Ashari, M.
Tsitologiia i Genetika 50(1): 12-25
The aim of this study was to characterize 23 important Iranian sweet cherry (Prunus avium) cultivars collected from different provinces of Iran and 1 foreign cultivar, which was used as control, considered for breeding programs by using 21 microsatellite markers and 27 morphological traits. In sweet cherry (Prunus avium) accessions, leaf, fruit, and stone morphological characters were evaluated during two consecutive years. The study revealed a high variability in the set of evaluated sweet cherry accessions. The majority of important correlations were determined among variables representing fruit and leaf size and variables related to color. Cluster analysis distinguished sweet cherry accessions into two distinct groups. Principal component analysis (PCA) of qualitative and quantitative morphological parameters explained over 86.59% of total variability in the first seven axes. In PCA, leaf traits such as leaf length and width, and fruit traits such as length, width, and weight, and fruit flesh and juice color were predominant in the first two components, indicating that they were useful for the assessment of sweet cherry germplasm characterization. Out of 21 SSR markers, 16 were polymorphic, producing 177 alleles that varied from 4 to 16 alleles (9.35 on average) with a mean heterozygosity value of 0.82 that produced successful amplifications and revealed DNA polymorphisms. Allele size varied from 95 to 290 bp. Cluster analyses showed that the studied sweet cherry genotypes were classified intofive main groups based mainly on their species characteristics and SSR data. In general, our results did not show a clear structuring of genetic variability within the Iranian diffusion area of sweet cherry, so it was not possible to draw any indications on regions of provenance delimitation. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of sweet cherry genetic variations in Iran, thus making for more efficient programs aimed at preserving biodiversity and more rational planning of the management of reproductive material.