Preservation of biodiversity is recognised worldwide as a topic of great interest concerning
both natural and cultivated species. Cultivated species are characterised usually by a genetic
variability lower than that normally present in natural species, and the loss of genetic variability, in
consequence of the adoption of few superior varieties and of the abandonment of cultivated areas, is
referred as genetic erosion.
Local varieties (landraces) that have been rarely subjected to breeding are characterised by an
elevated genetic variability and usually they have high frequency of co-adapted genotypes that
confer to the local populations a good fitness for the anthropic and natural environment in which
they have evolved.
Such populations represent an invaluable source of genotypes, they are characterised by
interesting traits from an agronomic, technologic and nutraceutical point of view and for centuries
they represented an important food source for local people. Despite their importance only recently
there has been an increased interest for the conservation and enhancement of the remaining local
Within the “Misura 214, azione 7 of the Emilia Romagna regional development plan” we
carried out a survey of local accessions of fruit trees of Western Emilia (province of Parma and
Piacenza). Accessions belonging to sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), sour cherry (Prunus cerasus
L.), apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) and pear (Pyrus communis L.) have been sampled in different
areas of the two provinces where their cultivation is reported to be present, based on historical
documentation, for more than 150 years.
The DNA from the different accessions has been recovered from very young leaves and
analysed by using SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers with the aim to clarify the homonymy
and synonymy cases of local name inside thel old fruit tree germplasm. The presence of a high level
of genetic variability and of different ploidy levels (diploid and tetraploid) has been detected in sour
cherry, apple and pear. Sweet cherry accessions, despite the high genetic differences, are confirmed
to be only diploid. This analysis represents a starting point to plan conservation and enhancement
projects for the local old fruit tree germplasm.
|Convegno||57th Annual Congress italian Society of Agricultural Genetics|
|Periodo||16/9/13 → 19/9/13|