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Genetic diversity characterization of water yam (Dioscorea alata L.) with microsatellites markers

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Author(s):
Marcos Vinicius Bohrer Monteiro Siqueira
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Elizabeth Ann Veasey; Maria Christina de Mello Amorozo; Silvia Maria Guerra Molina; Giancarlo Conde Xavier Oliveira; Maria Imaculada Zucchi
Advisor: Elizabeth Ann Veasey
Abstract

The genus Dioscorea is the largest in the Dioscoreaceae family, featuring approximately 600 species distributed mainly in the tropics, with high importance as food supply in West Africa, Asia southeast, the Caribbean and a few countries in South America. In Brazil, some species of yam (Dioscorea spp.) together with cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), have a profound importance in subsistence agriculture, being used primarily as a source of carbohydrate for human feeding. Little is known about the genetic diversity and structure of these species, and also how it evolved in recent centuries, particularly because of the scarcity of molecular evaluations. The present study is intended to: (i) present socio-economic and ethnobotanical data on the different agriculturists that cultivated the species; (ii) isolate microsatellite primers using an enriched genomic library technique and test for cross amplifications in other species of Dioscorea; (iii) analyse the genetic relationships among 73 local acessions and 17 commercial accessions of water yam collected in five different regions in Brazil (South, Southeast, Northeast, Central-West and North) using a set of 12 microsatellite. Tubers of D. alata were collected in 28 municipalities from this five regioesn where the species is commonly cultivated, as well as on local markets and fairs from several states across Brazil. Other accessions were obtained from the ex situ germplasm collections belonging to ESALQ/USP, IAC and FCA/UNESP. A descriptive analysis of different farmers was performed, indicating unequal profiles between the screened regions. A wide range of vernacular names were registered with differences between regions. The interviews eith the agriculturist revealed that the species are losing their importance in some traditional/local areas. The isolation of codominant polymorphic microsatellite markers resulted in the detection of 14 short tandem repeat (SSR) loci, and ten were selected to characterize 80 D. alata accessions. The polymorphism information content varied from 0.39 to 0.78 and the power discrimination ranged from 0.15 to 0.91. Six of the markers showed transferability between the species D. bulbifera, D. cayenensis-D. rotundata and D. trifida. In a morphological and molecular diversity study, 12 polymorphic microsatellite primers were used to generate DNA profiles for each accession of the species and four morphological traits were analyzed. The morphological characterization showed considerable diversity and no specific clustering was observed between regions. The molecular analyses of D. alata showed a high intraspecific diversity in local varieties from different regions in Brazil. However, population structuring between sampling regions was rather low. Only the accessions from the Central-Western region showed an apparent regional clustering, almoust similar were observed with northeast acessions. These results show an admixture of accessions in all sampling regions, which is further consistent with the lack of a correlation between geographic and genetic distances, suggesting that water yam tubers have moved extensively by human fluxes. The genetic diversity found can be explained by the result of a continuous exchange of varieties through the Brazilian distribution range. The development of molecular SSR markers for D. alata and genetic population analysis is essential for the ongoing research on this species. The generated information is of great importance for the identification, rational exploitation and conservation of the genetic variability of this species, in a in situ and/or ex situ way. (AU)