Molecular Marker Based Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Rye

  • Hanna Bolibok-BrągoszewskaEmail author
  • Monika Rakoczy-Trojanowska
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 7)


Genetic variation is a fundamental resource in crop improvement programs and thus a detailed knowledge of genetic relationships among accessions is a prerequisite for successful exploitation of genetic resources in breeding and for efficient genebank management. DNA markers are a convenient and powerful tool for assessment of genetic diversity. Over the years, several molecular studies were undertaken to characterize genetic relationships in various Secale accessions: wild species, landraces, varieties and inbred lines. Valuable, and sometimes surprising information on the extent and the structure of genetic variation was obtained, which can be crucial for the preservation of the genetic diversity of rye germplasm and its efficient use in rye improvement. DNA marker based studies of rye germplasm revealed, among others, the influence of life cycle differences on genetic relationships among Secale species, a great genetic potential of landraces for detection of unexplored alleles for broadening the genetic diversity in current breeding programs, and, very importantly, a narrow genetic diversity of advanced varieties, indicating their common genetic background. Possible influence of reproduction methods on the observed diversity patterns, as well as locations of genome regions targeted by selection during domestication and current breeding programs was also found. Nevertheless, the rye accessions characterized to date with molecular markers constitute a very small fraction of the worldwide genetic resources and further research is needed, involving, among others, the creation of a rye core collection. Efforts should be also made to facilitate the use of unimproved accessions in targeted broadening of the genetic diversity in breeding germplasm.


Genetic diversity DNA markers Landraces Genetic resources Secale accessions Genebank 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education grant N N310 080139. We used here three figures from Bolibok-Brągoszewska et al. BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:8 and one figure from Bolibok-Brągoszewska et al. BMC Genomics 2009, 10:578. Both works are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Bolibok-Brągoszewska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Monika Rakoczy-Trojanowska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Genetics Breeding and BiotechnologyWarsaw University of Life SciencesWarsawPoland

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