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Comparative analysis of genetic variation in kava (Piper methysticum) assessed by SSR and DArT reveals zygotic foundation and clonal diversification

Vandenbroucke H., Mournet P., Malapa R., Glaszmann J.C., Chaïr H., Lebot V.. 2015. Genome (Ottawa), 58 (1) : p. 1-11.

DOI: 10.1139/gen-2014-0166

Kava ( Piper methysticum ) is a major cash crop in the Pacific. The aim of this study was to assess genetic variation among 103 accessions of kava using SSRs and DArTs. Genetic structure was determined using clustering analyses (WPGMA) and principal coordinate analyses (PCA). Thirteen SSR primers and 75 DArT markers were found polymorphic, and the two types of markers generated similar clustering patterns. Genetic distances ranged from 0 to 0.65 with an average of 0.24 using SSRs and from 0 to 0.64 with an average of 0.24 using DArT. Eleven genotypes were identified with SSR while 28 genotypes were identified with DArT markers. By combining the two sets of markers, a total of only 30 distinct genotypes were observed. In the Vanuatu archipelago, noble cultivars originating from different islands clustered together within a very narrow genetic base despite their diversity of morphotypes. SSR and DArT fingerprints allowed the identification of kava cultivars unsuitable for consump- tion, so called two-days, and clearly differentiated the wild types classified as P. methysticum var. wichmannii from the cultivars as var. methysticum . Molecular data reveals that all noble cultivars evolved by the predominance of clonal selection. Although they are represented by clearly distinct morphotypes, these cultivars are genetically vulnerable and their potential to adapt to forthcoming changes is limited. These newly developed markers provide high resolution and will be useful for kava diversity analyses and quality assessment.

Mots-clés : piper methysticum; génétique des populations; variation génétique; marqueur génétique; sélection; clone; variété; vanuatu; hawaï; tonga; ssr

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