Structure and genetic diversity of Theobroma speciosum (Malvaceae) and implications for Brazilian Amazon conservation

Juliana de Freitas Encinas Dardengo Ana Aparecida Bandini Rossi Luiz Orlando de Oliveira Guilherme Ferreira Pena Luiz Henrique Rivas Carolina Joana da Silva Fernanda Pavese Rufatto About the authors

Abstract

The genetic diversity of Theobroma speciosum is important because its use in breeding programs, once the species is closely related to species of great economic value such as Theobroma cacao (cocoa) and Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu). Thus, the objective of this work is to characterize the intra and interpopulational genetic diversity of Theobroma speciosum in natural populations in the Brazilian Amazon. Ninety individuals of T. speciosum from four populations localized in different states of legal Amazon were selected and genotyped. The data were obtained by fluorescence microsatellite analysis and the number of alleles, number of private alleles, fixation index, observed and expected heterozygosity were analyzed. Bayesian analysis, AMOVA and PCOa were used to reveal the molecular genetic structure of the populations, using the programs Structure and GenAIEx 6.5, respectively. All populations studied present great levels of gene diversity, although, there was a greater similarity among the AUR, API and MAC populations, while RBC population presented higher heterozygosity and less inbreeding than the others, becoming a possible refuge area in the Amazon, and the most important population for T. speciosum conservation.

Key words:
Amazon; cacauhy; genetic variability

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