Morphological and genetic diversity of Istrian garlic ecotypes

M. Franić, D. Ban, D. Poljuha, B. Prekalj, I. Bažon, Z. Šatović, S. Goreta Ban
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is one of the most important vegetable crops and its value as a crop has been recognized since ancient times. In the Istria region (Croatia) garlic has been traditionally grown for personal use and for sale. Some producers have kept local ecotypes along with traditional way of production which has resulted in development of a range of ecotypes adapted to agro-ecological conditions of the region. As environmental conditions can strongly affect garlic development, significant variability in morphological and possibly genetic characteristics is expected. In this study bulbs of 14 local ecotypes from 7 different locations have been collected from producers in Istria. Garlic bulbs have been described according to ECP/GR descriptor for Allium species for the following traits: shape of mature dry bulbs, shape of mature garlic bulb, outer skin color of compound bulb, skin color of the clove, number of cloves per compound bulb, bulb structure type and shape of compound bulb in horizontal section. In addition, genetic diversity of 14 garlic ecotypes has been assessed through the use of 13 polymorphic SSR markers. A large variability in the morphological characteristics of the 14 ecotypes has been identified. Cluster analysis using Ward method classified ecotypes in two large groups: IPT338 and IPT339 in one and all other ecotypes in the other. Latter group is clustered in several smaller groups. Based on the UPGMA method (Dice similarity index) and genetic data, ecotypes separated into two large groups - IPT348 and all other ecotypes (bootstrap value 100%), furthermore this group separated again in two large groups - IPT339 an all other (bootstrap value 98%). Latter group was similarly subclustered into several smaller groups. Morphological and genetic data for the 14 ecotypes correlated well (Mantel test, R=0.63, P=0.004). According to our results there is a high garlic morphological and genetic variability in Istria that could be utilized in breeding programs.
Franić, M., Ban, D., Poljuha, D., Prekalj, B., Bažon, I., Šatović, Z. and Goreta Ban, S. (2021). Morphological and genetic diversity of Istrian garlic ecotypes. Acta Hortic. 1320, 57-64
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1320.7
Allium sativum L., ECP/GR descriptors, microsatellites, genotyping, characterization

Acta Horticulturae