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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757


CUYEU, Romina et al. Genetic diversity in a world germplasm collection of tall fescue. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2013, vol.36, n.2, pp.237-242.  Epub May 17, 2013. ISSN 1415-4757.

Festuca arundinacea Schreb., commonly known as tall fescue, is a major forage crop in temperate regions. Recently, a molecular analysis of different accessions of a world germplasm collection of tall fescue has demonstrated that it contains different species from the genus Festuca and allowed their rapid classification into the three major morphotypes (Continental, Mediterranean and Rhizomatous). In this study, we explored the genetic diversity of 161 accessions of Festuca species from 29 countries, including 28 accessions of INTA (Argentina), by analyzing 15 polymorphic SSR markers by capillary electrophoresis. These molecular markers allowed us to detect a total of 214 alleles. The number of alleles per locus varied between 5 and 24, and the values of polymorphic information content ranged from 0.627 to 0.840. In addition, the accessions analyzed by flow cytometry showed different ploidy levels (diploid, tetraploid, hexaploid and octaploid), placing in evidence that the world germplasm collection consisted of multiple species, as previously suggested. Interestingly, almost all accessions of INTA germplasm collection were true hexaploid tall fescue, belonging to two eco-geographic races (Continental and Mediterranean). Finally, the data presented revealed an ample genetic diversity of tall fescue showing the importance of preserving the INTA collection for future breeding programs.

Keywords : SSR markers; genetic diversity; flow cytometry; tall fescue; genetic resources.

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