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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

SSR-Based Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure of Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium L.) from 19 Countries in Europe

Barreneche, Teresa; de la Concepcion, Maria Carcamo; Blouin-Delmas, Marine; Ordidge, Matthew; Nybom, Hilde; Lacis, Gunars; Feldmane, Daina; Sedlak, Jiri; Meland, Mekjell; Kaldmae, Hedi; Kahu, Kersti; Bekefi, Zsuzsanna; Stanivukovic, Sanda; Duric, Gordana; Hoefer, Monika; Galik, Martin; Schueller, Elisabeth; Spornberger, Andreas; Sirbu, Sorina; Drogoudi, Pavlina;
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Sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) is a temperate fruit species whose production might be highly impacted by climate change in the near future. Diversity of plant material could be an option to mitigate these climate risks by enabling producers to have new cultivars well adapted to new environmental conditions. In this study, subsets of sweet cherry collections of 19 European countries were genotyped using 14 SSR. The objectives of this study were (i) to assess genetic diversity parameters, (ii) to estimate the levels of population structure, and (iii) to identify germplasm redundancies. A total of 314 accessions, including landraces, early selections, and modern cultivars, were monitored, and 220 unique SSR genotypes were identified. All 14 loci were confirmed to be polymorphic, and a total of 137 alleles were detected with a mean of 9.8 alleles per locus. The average number of alleles (N = 9.8), PIC value (0.658), observed heterozygosity (H-o = 0.71), and expected heterozygosity (H-e = 0.70) were higher in this study compared to values reported so far. Four ancestral populations were detected using STRUCTURE software and confirmed by Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA), and two of them (K1 and K4) could be attributed to the geographical origin of the accessions. A N-J tree grouped the 220 sweet cherry accessions within three main clusters and six subgroups. Accessions belonging to the four STRUCTURE populations roughly clustered together. Clustering confirmed known genealogical data for several accessions. The large genetic diversity of the collection was demonstrated, in particular within the landrace pool, justifying the efforts made over decades for their conservation. New sources of diversity will allow producers to face challenges, such as climate change and the need to develop more sustainable production systems.


Prunus avium; SSR; genetic diversity; population structure; genetic resources; breeding

Published in

2021, volume: 10, number: 10, article number: 1983
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Barreneche, Teresa
Universite de Bordeaux
de la Concepcion, Maria Carcamo
University of Greenwich
Blouin-Delmas, Marine
Ordidge, Matthew
University of Reading
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Lacis, Gunars
Inst Hort
Feldmane, Daina
Inst Hort
Sedlak, Jiri
Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology Holovousy
Meland, Mekjell
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Kaldmae, Hedi
Polli Horticultural Research Centre
Kahu, Kersti
Polli Horticultural Research Centre
Bekefi, Zsuzsanna
Natl Agr Res and Innovat Ctr Godoll
Stanivukovic, Sanda
University of Banja Luka (UNIBL)
Đurić, Gordana
University of Banja Luka (UNIBL)
Hoefer, Monika
Julius Kuhn-Institut
Galik, Martin
Res Inst Plant Prod RIPP
Schueller, Elisabeth
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Spornberger, Andreas
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Sirbu, Sorina
Research Station for Fruit Growing
Drogoudi, Pavlina
Hellen Agr Org DEMETER
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UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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