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Agronomy 2018, 8(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8040055

Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Opuntia spp. Portuguese Populations Using SSR Molecular Markers

1
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Escola Superior Agrária, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
2
Centro de Biotecnologia de Plantas da Beira Interior, Escola Superior Agrária de Castelo Branco, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
3
Centro de Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Sociedade (CERNAS-IPCB), Bencanta, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
4
Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract

The Opuntia spp., most likely few individuals, were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the beginning of the 16th century, after the discovery of America, spreading afterwards throughout the Mediterranean basin. We analysed, for the first time, the genetic diversity in a set of 19 Portuguese Opuntia spp. populations from the species O. ficus-indica, O. elata, O. dillenii and O. robusta using nuclear microsatellite (nuSSR) markers. The Italian cultivars ‘Bianca’, ‘Gialla’ and ‘Rossa’ were included in the study for comparison purposes. The nuSSR amplifications produced from five to 16 alleles, with an average of 9.2 alleles per primer pair, and average polymorphism information content of 0.71. The estimated Dice coefficient among populations varied from 0.26 to 1.0, indicating high interspecific genetic diversity but low genetic diversity at the intraspecific level. The hierarchical clustering analysis revealed four major groups that clearly separated the four Opuntia species. Among the O. ficus-indica populations, two sub-clusters were found, one including the white pulp fruits (with cv. Bianca) and the other with the orange pulp ones and including the cv. Gialla, the cv. Rossa, and one pale yellow pulp population. No genetic differences were found between the inermis form, O. ficus-indica f. ficus-indica, and the rewilded spiny one, O. ficus-indica f. amyclaea. The dendrogram indicated that the clustering pattern was unrelated to geographical origin. The results revealed a low level of genetic diversity among the Portuguese populations of O. ficus-indica. View Full-Text
Keywords: cactus pear; cluster analysis; DNA fingerprinting; microsatellite markers; principal coordinate analysis cactus pear; cluster analysis; DNA fingerprinting; microsatellite markers; principal coordinate analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Reis, C.M.G.; Raimundo, J.; Ribeiro, M.M. Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Opuntia spp. Portuguese Populations Using SSR Molecular Markers. Agronomy 2018, 8, 55.

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