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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 43 No. 6, p. 1989-1995
     
    Received: Dec 19, 2002
    Published: Nov, 2003


    * Corresponding author(s): fuy@agr.gc.ca
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2003.1989

Allelic Diversity Changes in 96 Canadian Oat Cultivars Released from 1886 to 2001

  1. Yong-Bi Fu *a,
  2. Gregory W. Petersona,
  3. Graham Scolesb,
  4. Brian Rossnagelb,
  5. Daniel J. Schoenc and
  6. Ken W. Richardsa
  1. a Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0X2
    b Dep. of Plant Sciences, Univ. of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8
    c Dep. of Biology, McGill Univ., Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1B1

Abstract

There is longstanding concern that modern plant breeding reduces crop genetic diversity. Such reduction may have consequences both for the vulnerability of crops to changes in their pests and diseases and for their ability to respond to changes in climate and agricultural practices. This concern, however, has not been well validated in recent molecular studies of genetic diversity of several crop species. The objective of this study was to assess allelic diversity changes in 96 Canadian oat (Avena sativa L.) cultivars released from 1886 to 2001 by means of 30 simple sequence repeats (SSRs). A total of 62 alleles were found from 11 informative SSR loci. Thirty-nine alleles were detected infrequently (frequency ≤ 0.15) among the cultivars and only two alleles were observed frequently (frequency ≥ 0.95). Analyses of the dynamics of SSR alleles over time in these oat cultivars revealed random patterns of allelic change at three loci, shifting patterns of change at one locus, increasing patterns of change at two loci, and decreasing patterns of change at five loci. Significant decrease of alleles was detected in cultivars released after 1970 and also in some specific breeding programs. Three different band-sharing analyses of the genetic diversity of the grouped cultivars, however, failed to detect significant diversity changes among cultivars released from different breeding periods or programs. These findings indicate that allelic diversity at particular loci, rather than average genetic diversity, is sensitive to oat breeding practices. They also indicate the need for attention to be paid to oat germplasm conservation.

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