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Allozyme diversity in wild Phaseolus vulgaris: further evidence for two major centers of genetic diversity

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Allozyme analysis was performed on 83 wild Phaseolus vulgaris accessions, representing a wide geographical distribution from Mesoamerica to Argentina, to determine levels of genetic diversity and geographic patterns of variability at nine polymorphic isozyme loci. The collection can be divided into two major groups, one consisting of accessions from Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Peru, and the other consisting of accessions from Peru and Argentina. One accession from northern Peru is distinct from the two major groups, and may delineate a transition zone between the two divergent groups. The level of genetic diversity within wild P. vulgaris (Ht=0.132) is comparable with those found in other Phaseolus species. There was no significant within-accession gene diversity (Hs=0.006); however, there is a moderate level of genetic diversity (Dst=0.126) between accessions. Our results are consistent with previous studies on the genetic diversity of wild P. vulgaris using phaseolin, the major seed storage protein of beans.

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Communicated by A.L. Kahler

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Koenig, R., Gepts, P. Allozyme diversity in wild Phaseolus vulgaris: further evidence for two major centers of genetic diversity. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 78, 809–817 (1989).

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Key words

  • Crop evolution
  • Domestication
  • Molecular markers
  • Common bean