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Adam Dale, Patrick P. Moore, Ronald J. McNicol, Thomas M. Sjulin and Leonid A. Burmistrov

Pedigrees of 137 red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) varieties released throughout the world since 1960 were used to calculate: 1) the genetic contribution of founding clones to these varieties; 2) genetic relatedness among them; and 3) their inbreeding coefficients. Fifty founding clones contributed to the pedigrees of these varieties with a mean genetic contribution ranging from <0.1% to 21%. Varieties were clustered according to the genetic contribution into groups strongly related to geographical origin. Varieties developed in the former USSR and derived from `Novost Kuzmina' formed a distinct cluster. The remaining varieties were clustered in groups based mainly on whether they were of North American or European origin. Varieties were clustered also on the basis of Wright's coefficient of relationship-a measure of genetic relatedness. Cluster groups were related to their geographical origin and the varieties within the groups could be traced to similar intermediate parents. Inbreeding coefficients ranged from 0.0 to 0.625 and were related, in part, to the numbers of generations of controlled hybridization from common ancestors. The British group, with the largest number of generations of breeding, had a low mean inbreeding coefficient, indicating that inbreeding can be minimized with attention to the mating system. Strategies are suggested for maintaining and increasing the genetic diversity in the world's red raspberry breeding populations.

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Gayle Volk, Christopher Richards, Adam Henk, Ann Reilley, Nahla Bassil and Joseph Postman

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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Jinguo Hu, Beiquan Mou and Brady A. Vick

Target region amplified polymorphism (TRAP) markers were used to evaluate genetic variability among 48 accessions of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.), an economically important leafy vegetable crop in many countries. Thirty-eight accessions collected and preserved by the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) and 10 commercial hybrids were used in the current study. For assessing genetic diversity within accessions, DNA samples were prepared from nine to 12 individual seedlings from six germplasm accessions and two hybrids. Relatively high levels of polymorphism was found within accessions based on 61 polymorphic TRAP markers generated with two fixed primers derived from the Arabidopsis-type telomere repeat sequence and two arbitrary primers. For evaluating inter-accession variability, DNA was extracted from a bulk of six to 10 seedlings of each accession. Of the 1092 fragments amplified by 14 primer combinations, 96 (8.8%) were polymorphic and discriminated the 48 accessions from each other. The average pair-wise genetic similarity coefficient (Dice, Nei) was 57.5% with a range from 23.2 to 85.3%. A dendrogram was constructed based on the similarity matrix. It was found that the genetic relationships were not highly correlated with the geographic locations in which the accessions were collected. However, seven commercial hybrids were grouped in three separate clusters, suggesting that the phenotype-based breeding activities have effect on the genetic variability. This study demonstrated that TRAP markers are effective for fingerprinting and evaluating genetic variability of spinach germplasm.

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Vance M. Whitaker, Stan C. Hokanson and James Bradeen

has also been documented ( Wenefrida and Spencer, 1993 ). Genetic diversity has been documented in D. rosae using molecular marker analyses. Lee et al. (2000) examined 10 isolates using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of

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Fenny Dane and Hongwen Huang

The genetic diversity within and between four geographic populations of the Ozark chinkapin was evaluated and partitioned in order to gain an understanding of the overall genetic diversity and structure of this species, which will be instrumental for its preservation and germplasm enhancement. Nuts of chinkapin trees along the natural range of the species in the Sylamore Ranger District of the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas were collected and evaluated with isozyme and RAPD markers scattered across the genome. Allozyme differences were detected among the geographic populations. Allele frequencies will be determined and subjected to genetic diversity statistics. A conservation plan will be recommended.

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Kirk W. Pomper, Sheri B. Crabtree, Shawn P. Brown, Snake C. Jones, Tera M. Bonney and Desmond R. Layne

The pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal.] is a tree fruit native to many areas of the southeastern and mid-western United States. Kentucky State University (KSU) is designated as a satellite repository for Asimina for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). An assessment of the level of genetic diversity in cultivated pawpaw would assist in development of the future germplasm repository collection strategies for cultivar improvement. The objectives of this study were to identify intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers that segregate in a simple Mendelian fashion and to use these markers to assess genetic diversity in 19 pawpaw cultivars. Leaf samples from the 34 progeny of controlled crosses (1-7-1 × 2-54 and reciprocal) and the parents were collected, DNA was extracted, and subjected to the ISSR methodology using the University of British Columbia microsatellite primer set #9. Seven primers yielded 11 Mendelian markers with either a 3:1 or 1:1 ratio that was confirmed by chi-square analysis. Analysis of genetic diversity using 10 of the ISSR markers from 19 pawpaw cultivars revealed a moderate to high level of genetic diversity, with a percent polymorphic loci P = 80 and an expected heterozygosity He = 0.358. These diversity values are higher than those reported for cultivated pawpaw using isozyme or randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, indicating that the ISSR marker methodolgy has a higher level of discrimination in evaluating genetic diversity in pawpaw and/or pawpaw has greater levels of genetic diversity than previously found.

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James Nienhuis, Julie Rodriguez, Wilber Phillips, Peter Hanson and Liliway Engle

Worldwide, there are cuurently more than 60 germplasm banks that contain tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) collections ranging is size from a few dozen to several thousands of accessions. In the utilization of these genetic resources sampling from only one germplasm bank may result in limiting available genetic diversity, whereas sampling from several germplasm banks may result in unnecessary redundancy. The current lack of knowledge regarding the relative magnitudes of genetic diversity contained within different collections makes it difficult to develop a core collection that maximizes genetic diversity. Two large tomato collections are housed at the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), Sanhua, Taiwan, R.O.C., and the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Enseoanza (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica. Ninety-six accessions from CATIE and 102 accessions from AVRDC were randomly sampled from each base collection. The total of 198 accessions were charcterized for 103 polymorphic RAPD molecular marker bands. The results indicated that the two germplam banks sampled different genetic diversity. In addition, the magnitude of genetic diversity was greater in the AVRDC collection compared to CATIE.

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Fenny Dane

American species in the genus Castanea are susceptible to chestnut blight, caused by the Asian fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. This disease spread throughout the natural range of the American chestnut and reduced the species from a timber and nut producing tree to an understory shrub. The lesser known member of the genus, the chinkapin, has also been affected by this disease and a conservation plan is needed. Genetic diversity within and between geographic populations of the Allegheny chinkapin was evaluated to provide baseline genetic information pertinent to conservation of the species. Nuts of Allegheny chinkapin trees from populations in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, and Ohio were collected and evaluated for isozyme and RAPD marker polymorphism. The genetic diversity of these populations will be compared with that of Ozark chinkapin and American chestnut populations. Conservation strategies will be discussed.

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Amnon Levi, Claude E. Thomas, Todd C. Wehner and Xingping Zhang

Genetic diversity and relatedness were assessed among 46 American cultivars of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus), and 12 U.S. Plant Introduction accessions (PIs) of Citrullus sp. using 25 randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers. These primers produced 288 distinct reproducible bands that could be scored with high confidence among cultivars and PIs. Based on the RAPD data, genetic similarity coefficients were calculated and a dendrogram was constructed using the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA). The cultivars and C. lanatus var. lanatus PIs differentiated at the level of 92% to 99.6% and 88% to 95% genetic similarity, respectively. In contrast, the C. lanatus var. citroides, and C. colocynthis PIs were more divergent and differentiated at the level of 65% to 82.5% and 70.5% genetic similarity, respectively. The low genetic diversity among watermelon cultivars in this study emphasizes the need to expand the genetic base of cultivated watermelon.

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Dilson A. Bisognin and David S. Douches

An understanding of the genetic relationship within potato germplasm is important to establish a broad genetic base for breeding purposes. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of potato (Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum Hawkes) germplasm that can be used in the development of cultivars with resistance to late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary. Thirty-three diploid and 27 tetraploid late blight resistant potato clones were evaluated for their genetic diversity based on 11 isozyme loci and nine microsatellites. A total of 35 allozymes and 42 polymorphic microsatellite fragments was scored for presence or absence. The germplasm was clustered based on the matrix of genetic similarities and the unweighted pair group means analysis of the isozyme and microsatellite data, which were used to construct a dendrogram using NTSYS-pc version 1.7. Twenty-three allozymes and DNA fragments were unique to the wild species. The diploid Solanum species S. berthaultii Hawkes and S. microdontum Bitter formed two distinct phenetic groups. Within S. microdontum, three subgroups were observed. The tetraploid germplasm formed another group, with S. sucrense Hawkes in one subgroup and the cultivated potato and Russian hybrids in another subgroup. Based upon the genetic diversity and the level of late blight resistance, S. microdontum and S. sucrense offer the best choice for strong late blight resistance from genetically diverse sources. This potato germplasm with reported late blight resistance should be introgressed into the potato gene pool to broaden the genetic base to achieve stronger and more durable resistance.