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Genetic and molecular variability in passion fruit (Passiflora spp.) commercial and wild accessions, targeting ex situ conservation and plant breeding


Passiflora species are widely distributed throughout Latin America, and Brazil and Colombia serve as the centers of diversity for this genus. We performed cross-species amplification to evaluate 109 microsatellite loci in 14 Passiflora species and estimated the diversity and genetic structure of P. cincinnata, P. setaceae and P. edulis. A total of 127 accessions, including 85 accessions of P. edulis, a commercial species, and 42 accessions of 13 wild species, were examined. The cross-species amplification strategy was effective for obtaining microsatellite loci (average cross-amplification of 70%). The average number of alleles per locus (5) was relatively low, and the average diversity ranged from 0.52 in P. cincinnata to 0.32 in P. setacea. The estimates of genetic structure via Bayesian analyses indicated that the P. cincinnata and P. setacea accessions were distributed into two groups, and the P. edulis accessions were distributed into five groups. Private alleles were identified, and suggestions for core collections are presented. The data indicate the need for further collection, and the information generated may be useful for breeding programs and conservation. (AU)

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