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Genetic Diversity of Lowbush Blueberry throughout the United States in Managed and Non-Managed Populations

1
College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County, Cortland, OH 44410, USA
2
Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory, Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
3
School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(6), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9060113
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
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Abstract

Expressed sequenced tagged-polymerase chain reaction (EST-PCR) molecular markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity of lowbush blueberry across its geographic range and to compare diversity among four paired managed/non-managed populations. Seventeen populations were sampled in a north–south transect throughout the eastern United States with 27 km to 1600 km separating populations. The majority of genetic variation was found within populations (75%) with each population genetically unique (p ≤ 0.0001) with the exception of the Jonesboro, ME, and Lubec, ME, populations. The effects of management for commercial fruit harvesting on genetic diversity were investigated in four locations in Maine with paired managed and non-managed populations. Significant differences were found between the populations indicating that commercial management for fruit production influences the diversity of lowbush blueberries in the landscape, even though planting does not occur. Forests are harvested and the existing understory blueberry plants become established. View Full-Text
Keywords: EST-PCR; Vaccinium angustifolium; geographic range; domestication EST-PCR; Vaccinium angustifolium; geographic range; domestication
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Beers, L.; Rowland, L.J.; Drummond, F. Genetic Diversity of Lowbush Blueberry throughout the United States in Managed and Non-Managed Populations. Agriculture 2019, 9, 113.

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