AFLP Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Phylogenetic Relationships of Brassica Oleracea in Ireland

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Brassica oleracea L. is one of the most economically important vegetable crop species of the genus Brassica L. This species is threatened in Ireland, without any prior reported genetic studies. The use of this species is being very limited due to its imprecise phylogeny and uncompleted genetic characterisation. The main objective of this study was to assess the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of a set of 25 Irish B. oleracea accessions using the powerful amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique. A total of 471 fragments were scored across all the 11 AFLP primer sets used, out of which 423 (89.8%) were polymorphic and could differentiate the accessions analysed. The dendrogram showed that cauliflowers were more closely related to cabbages than kales were, and accessions of some cabbage types were distributed among different clusters within cabbage subgroups. Approximately 33.7% of the total genetic variation was found among accessions, and 66.3% of the variation resided within accessions. The total genetic diversity (HT) and the intra-accessional genetic diversity (HS) were 0.251 and 0.156, respectively. This high level of variation demonstrates that the Irish B. oleracea accessions studied should be managed and conserved for future utilisation and exploitation in food and agriculture. In conclusion, this study addressed important phylogenetic questions within this species, and provided a new insight into the inclusion of four accessions of cabbages and kales in future breeding programs for improving varieties. AFLP markers were efficient for assessing genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships in Irish B. oleracea species.



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