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Genetic diversity in Capsicum baccatum is significantly influenced by its ecogeographical distribution

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The structure of genetic diversity in a plant germplasm collection is significantly influenced by its ecogeographical distribution. Improved understanding of the combined effects of geology, ecology and human intervention is essential for efficient conservation and use of plant germplasm. In the present study, a combined diversity analysis was carried out on the USDA-ARS Capsicum baccatum germplasm collection using data from GIS, morphological traits and DNA fingerprints. The results demonstrate that the C. baccatum collection covers wide geographic areas and is adapted to divergent ecological conditions in South America. A high level of morphological diversity was evident in the collection, with fruit weight the key variable. The fruit weight distribution pattern was compatible to AFLP based clustering analysis for the collection. A significant spatial structure was observed in the C. baccatum gene pool, specifically at a local scale. Division of the domesticated germplasm into two major regional groups (Western and Eastern) was further supported by the pattern of spatial population structure. The results further define the organization of the C. baccatum gene pool and thus will enhance the efficiency of conservation and utilization of this cultivated Capsicum species.
Elena Albrecht , Dapeng Zhang , Anne Deslattes Mays , Robert A. Saftner , John R. Stommel
USDA Scientist Submission
Biomed Central (BMC) Genetics 2012 v.13 no.68
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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