Molecular studies conducted in chestnut
Chestnut, genus Castanea in Fagaceae family, usually spreads in different regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is well-known that 13 species of the genus are important in human nutrition since ancient times. Major distribution areas of these species are China, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Southern Europe and North America. Castanea sativa, which also includes Anatolian chestnut, is a native species of the Mediterranean basin. Although the center of origin is unknown, it has been reported that Castanea sativa was spread from Anatolia and to Europe. According to the latest FAO data, total world chestnut production quantity is 2.261.589 t mainly in China (1.879.031 t), Turkey (64.750 t), Korea (56.244 t) and Italy (50.889 t). Chestnut species take place as an important point in genetic diversity but chestnut production is adversely affected in almost all countries caused primarily by chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) and root rot (Phytophthora cambivora), so as some other significant threats such as incorrect forestry practices, adversely changing environmental conditions, which recently have increasing importance. These factors still continue to threat the worldwide chestnut cultivation areas and natural population. Therefore, some methodologies have been applied to overcome problems about chestnut cultivation, to conserve genetic variability in situ and ex situ conditions, and to investigate the changes produced by former threats. Some of the conventional methods used in those studies take a long time and they have been complemented by molecular studies with the aim of shortening breeding programs, which include the identification of the responsible genes for nut composition and determination of some chestnut diseases, such as root rot (Phytophthora cambivora), by genetic mapping, but also determining the genetic relationships among genotypes. Molecular studies are also needed for generating gene maps to identify the gene regions that control other significant traits in order to be used in marker-assisted selection. In this study, we present the most recent molecular studies on chestnut in the world.
Özdemir, B. and Okay, Y. (2018). Molecular studies conducted in chestnut. Acta Hortic. 1220, 45-54
Castanea sativa Mill., molecular genetic tools