The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris
L.) is one of the main legumes worldwide and represents a valuable source of nutrients. Independent domestication events in the Americas led to the formation of two cultivated genepools, namely Mesoamerican and Andean, to which European material has been brought back. In this study, Italian common bean landraces were analyzed for their genetic diversity and structure, using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers derived from genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology. After filtering, 11,866 SNPs were obtained and 798 markers, pruned for linkage disequilibrium, were used for structure analysis. The most probable number of subpopulations (K) was two, consistent with the presence of the two genepools, identified through the phaseolin diagnostic marker. Some landraces were admixed, suggesting probable hybridization events between Mesoamerican and Andean material. When increasing the number of possible Ks, the Andean germplasm appeared to be structured in two or three subgroups. The subdivision within the Andean material was also observed in a principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) plot and a dendrogram based on genetic distances. The Mesoamerican landraces showed a higher level of genetic diversity compared to the Andean landraces. Calculation of the fixation index (FST
) at individual SNPs between the Mesoamerican and Andean genepools and within the Andean genepool evidenced clusters of highly divergent loci in specific chromosomal regions. This work may help to preserve landraces of the common bean from genetic erosion, and could represent a starting point for the identification of interesting traits that determine plant adaptation.
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