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Genetic diversity and structure of farm and GenBank accessions of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) in Cameroon revealed by microsatellite markers

Efombagn M.I.B., Motamayor J.C., Sounigo O., Eskes A., Nyassé S., Cilas C., et al.. 2008. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 4 (4) : p. 821-831.

The genetic diversity of 400 accessions collected in cacao farms, 95 GenBank, and 31 reference accessions was analyzed using the 12 microsatellite markers. The GenBank and reference accessions were subdivided into 12 accession groups (AG) that belong to the traditional cacao genetic groups (GG) Lower Amazon Forastero (LA), Upper Amazon Forastero (UA), Trinitario, and Criollo (Cr). The 12-microsatellite loci revealed a total of 125 alleles, 113 of which were present in the farm accession group (FA). The within and between group variation for all AGs accounted respectively for 81% and 19% of the total molecular variation. The average Fis for the FAwas 0.15 suggesting a moderate level of inbreeding. Significant differences for the level of gene diversity were found between the farm (0.50), GenBank (0.42 to 0.62), and reference (0.10 to 0.60) AGs. Genetic differentiation among AGs was variable with Fst values varying between 0.14 and 0.57 for the different AGs. Analysis using a Bayesian model-based method showed the existence of a high level of admixture for the farm accessions group. The LA genes were most represented in the FA (54%), followed by UA (33%) and Cr (7%). The genes of LAwere also the most represented in the GenBank (48%), followed by UA (24%) and Cr (14%). Only 14% and 6% of the genes of the GenBank and farm accessions, respectively, could not be attributed to any of the reference GGs. The results suggest the predominating presence of LA genes in the Cameroon farm accessions and a high level of admixture, with apparent presence of genes of more than three GGs in most accessions. The traditional Trinitario types appear to have almost disappeared from farmers fields. The admixture must be the result of hybridization and recombination of these genes from the different GGs in seed gardens and in farmers¿ fields. The use of selected farm accessions will depend on the GG that it belongs to and also on their level of heterozygosity. Further implications of the results for breeding and for introduction of new germplasm into the Cameroon GenBank are discussed. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : population végétale; amélioration des plantes; génétique des populations; variété indigène; collection de matériel génétique; variation génétique; marqueur génétique; microsatellite; theobroma cacao; cameroun

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes

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