(274) Genetic Diversity of Wild Pyrus communis L.

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  • 1 1National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, USDA–ARS, Fort Collins, CO, 80521
  • 2 2National Clonal Germplasm Repository, USDA–ARS, Corvallis, Ore.

Edible European pears (Pyrus communis sp. communis L.) are thought to be derived from wild relatives native to the Caucasus Mountain region and eastern Europe. We collected genotype, phenotype, and geographic origin data for 145 P. communis individuals derived from seeds collected from wild relatives. These individuals are currently maintained in the USDA–ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) in Corvallis, Ore. Pear genotypes were obtained using 13 microsatellite markers. A Bayesian clustering method grouped the individual pear genotypes into 12 clusters. The subspecies of pears native to the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, Crimea, and Armenia could be genetically differentiated from the subspecies native to eastern European countries. Pears with large fruit clustered closely together and are most closely related to a group of genotypes that are intermediate to the other groups. Based on the high number of unique alleles and heterozygosity in each of the 12 clusters, we conclude that the genetic diversity of wild P. communis is not fully represented in the NPGS

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