Genetic Structure of Six Korean Tea Populations as Revealed by RAPD-PCR Markers
- Shiv Shankhar Kaundunb and
- Young-Goo Park *a
Numerous Korean tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] populations abandoned for more than nine centuries represent important genetic resources for future breeding of new tea types and tastes. This study was conducted to evaluate on the basis of random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) markers the degree and organization of genetic diversity within and between six Korea populations and to formulate conservation strategies for tea populations in Korea. Of the 50 RAPD primers screened, 12 primers generated 25 reproducible and polymorphic bands. The genetic diversity within populations calculated from the Nei's index averaged 0.33 and was relatively lower than that found in other natural plant populations. This could be explained by the narrow genetic base of the tea samples introduced from Mainland China and considerable reduction in population size following mass destruction of tea populations in the fourteenth century. No geographical trends were observed among the tea populations following classification by unweighted pair group method and arithmetic average (UPGMA) and Nei distances and factorial correspondence analysis (FCA) carried out on individual samples. Even though highly significant differences were found among populations upon an analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), a markedly higher proportion of diversity was observed within populations (84%) as compared with between populations (16%). The fact that most diversity is within populations reflects the highly outcrossing nature of tea species. In the light of these results, it is proposed that conservation efforts target whole diverse populations rather than selected individuals from different populations. Due consideration should nevertheless be given to populations comprising private or rare alleles.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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