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Genetic reticulation and interrelationships among citrullus species as revealed by joint analysis of shared AFLPs and species-specific SSR alleles

  • Padmavathi Nimmakayala (a1), Yan R. Tomason (a1) (a2), Jooha Jeong (a1), Sathish K. Ponniah (a1), Anoji Karunathilake (a1), Amnon Levi (a3), Ramasamy Perumal (a4) and Umesh K. Reddy (a1)...

Thirty-one accessions of Citrullus spp. belonging to Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus, C. lanatus var. citroides and Citrullus colocynthis were subjected to phylogenetic analysis using combined datasets of amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Tree topologies inferred by neighbour-joining analysis have resolved the phylogenic relationships among the species with special reference to established taxonomic classification. In this study, we have clearly resolved species boundaries of various taxa of citroides, lanatus and colocynthis into three well-supported clusters. Clustering pattern of principal component analysis with the shared polymorphisms using the subsets of data between any two taxon combinations helped to elucidate the introgression and interrelationships among the species. We report two major groups of C. lanatus taxa, one of which has undergone wide introgressions with the taxa of C. lanatus var. citroides and C. colocynthis. In this paper, we identified 583 AFLP bands that are polymorphic within the var. lanatus of C. lanatus, which is the largest set ever reported. The species-specific diagnostic SSRs and polymorphic AFLPs that are informative within and between the taxa reported in this paper would be immensely useful for future studies of these economically important genera.

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Plant Genetic Resources
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