The structure of genetic diversity of the population of western-type carrot (Daucus carota subsp. ativus var. sativus)
The common carrot (Daucus carota L.) frequently appears in the wild in Europe, Asia and North America. As a cultivated plant (Daucus carota subsp. sativus), carrot has been known to humanity since ancient times. Recent research has indicated the existence of significant genetic diversity among the populations representing the wild and the cultivated carrot. In addition, within the population of the cultivated carrot, two strongly diverse groups have been identified: 1) the eastern group with fairly primitive morphology of the tap root, often white, yellow or purple in colour, and 2) the more morphologically varied western group comprised mainly of orange-coloured cultivars. With the development of orange carrots, the shape and the size of the tap root became the distinguishing characteristics of carrot types. The major root types used today include: ‘Chantenay’, ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Nantes’, ‘Oxheart’, ‘Paris Market’, ‘Autumn King’, ’Berlicum’ ‘Danvers’, ‘Kuroda’ and ‘Imperator’. Within the scope of my project I have developed two panels of molecular markers to be used in the analyses of genetic diversity of carrot cultivars. The first panel is based on the distribution of mobile genetic elements within the non-coding sequences of the carrot genome, whereas the other uses single nucleotide polymorphisms, represented abundantly in the carrot genome. Devising both methods was possible due to the fast development of the high-yield sequencing technology, which resulted in the publication of high-quality assembly of the carrot genome in 2016. My research aims to evaluate the degree of genetic variability among the carrot cultivars of the western type, which represent a collection of common types of root shape. I also want to establish whether the genetic variability characterised by both types of markers reflects, at least to an extent, the history of cultivation of the western type carrot.
Katarzyna Stelmach won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the II International Symposium on Carrot and Other Apiaceae in Poland in September 2018.
Katarzyna Stelmach, Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Horticulture, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Mickiewicza 21, 31-120 Krakow, Poland, e-mail: Katarzyna.Stelmach@urk.edu.pl