Study of the genetic diversity of apples collected in a nearly unexplored area in Northeastern Spain

J. Urrestarazu, C. Miranda, E. Ortún, L.G. Santesteban, J.B. Royo
The apple collections located at the Public University of Navarre, University of Lleida and Aula Dei Experimental Station-CSIC hold more than 500 accessions, mainly local cultivars from Northeastern Spain. Although germplasm from all the Northeastern Spanish apple-growing areas is preserved in these collections, collecting missions were not carried out homogenously and, as a consequence, some areas of potential interest are still weakly represented. One of those areas is Alava (Basque Country), a province where mostly grain crops were traditionally grown and fruit tree cultivation was a secondary activity restricted exclusively to backyard production. In this context, 220 apple accessions were recently collected in this province. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic diversity of the apple material collected in Alava with regards to that already preserved in the three abovementioned collections from Northeastern Spain. As a whole, 111 genotypes were identified among the newly collected accessions. The comparison between these genotypes and the already preserved ones showed that 78 genotypes were new. The genetic structure determined previously for those collections was proven to be robust and stable, and the clustering approach selected allowed integrating the new accessions within that structure. The fact that more than half of these new genotypes clustered in the originally inferred genepools containing exclusively local-type material suggests that this material could be unequivocally considered as autochthonous. All in all, the new collected material enriches the genetic diversity already conserved, and highlights the need of accomplishing new collecting missions in less explored areas.
Urrestarazu, J., Miranda, C., Ortún, E., Santesteban, L.G. and Royo, J.B. (2017). Study of the genetic diversity of apples collected in a nearly unexplored area in Northeastern Spain. Acta Hortic. 1172, 259-262
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1172.49
Malus × domestica Borkh., SSR markers, genetic structure, biodiversity

Acta Horticulturae