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Article

Assessing the Genetic Identity of Tuscan Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.)

1
Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DBSV), Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
2
Institute of Bioeconomy (IBE), Consiglio Nazionale Ricerche (CNR), 58022 Follonica, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gancho Slavov
Forests 2022, 13(7), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070967
Received: 21 April 2022 / Revised: 17 June 2022 / Accepted: 18 June 2022 / Published: 21 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
The sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) is an important species of European trees, studied for both ecological and economic reasons. Its cultivation in the Italian peninsula can be linked to the Roman period and has been documented, especially in the Tuscan region, for centuries. We sampled 131 grafted trees from three separate areas to determine the genetic variability between populations and assess genetic identity for different varieties of trees, which is useful for future breeding programs and propagation efforts. Molecular analyses were performed using eight microsatellite loci. A total of 98 alleles was detected with an average of 12.3 alleles per locus. We found high levels of genetic diversity within the varieties of the same area, ranging between He = 0.682–0.745. Of the eight loci, seven were found to be at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. (FST values Differentiation between cultivation areas was significant between 0.052–0.147) with the two Southern Tuscan areas showing the closest relationship as also indicated by Bayesian inference of the population structure, which revealed the existence of three ancestral gene pools of origin. Demographic events were detected by a coalescent-based approximate Bayesian computation in two of the homogeneous clusters. This work is a step forward for the conservation of this iconic species, albeit at a regional level, as chestnut varieties have never received the full attention of breeders. View Full-Text
Keywords: Castanea sativa; sweet chestnut; forest biodiversity; population genetics; conservation strategies Castanea sativa; sweet chestnut; forest biodiversity; population genetics; conservation strategies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cavallini, M.; Lombardo, G.; Binelli, G.; Cantini, C. Assessing the Genetic Identity of Tuscan Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.). Forests 2022, 13, 967. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070967

AMA Style

Cavallini M, Lombardo G, Binelli G, Cantini C. Assessing the Genetic Identity of Tuscan Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.). Forests. 2022; 13(7):967. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070967

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cavallini, Marta, Gianluca Lombardo, Giorgio Binelli, and Claudio Cantini. 2022. "Assessing the Genetic Identity of Tuscan Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.)" Forests 13, no. 7: 967. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070967

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