Genetic relationships among Cucurbita pepo ornamental gourds based on EST-SSR markers

Wang W., Shi Y., Liu Y., Xiang Ch., Sun T., Zhang M., Shu Q., Qiu X., Bo K., Duan Y., Wang Ch. (2021): Genetic relationships among Cucurbita pepo ornamental gourds based on EST-SSR markers. Czech J. Genet. Plant Breed., 57: 125−139.

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The ornamental gourd Cucurbita pepo L. is a ubiquitous crop native to North America, exhibiting highly diverse fruit characteristics. Studying the genetic diversity of ornamental gourds can help identify and evaluate the curated germplasm resources, understand the phylogenetic relationships among them, and highlight ways in which the germplasm resources can be used to address gaps in the understanding. In this study, a set of 85 of 323 previously identified polymorphic expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) genetic markers were selected to evaluate the genetic relationships among 47 C. pepo accessions and one C. foetidissima accession. This collection consisted of accessions from the subspecies pepo, texana, and the hybrid texana × pepo. Our analyses yielded a total of 271 alleles, with an average of 3.2 alleles per genetic locus. The dendrogram construction, principal coordinate analyses, and genetic value calculation revealed several robust subclusters in the texana subspecies accessions. From these results, we propose five new distinct morphotypes based on our construction of a concise SSR fingerprint. Moreover, our study confirms that the fruit shape similarity among accessions is a fair reflection of genetic relatedness.

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