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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 45 No. 3, p. 1064-1068
    Received: May 30, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): coulmanb@agr.gc.ca
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Detecting Genetic Changes over Two Generations of Seed Increase in an Awned Slender Wheatgrass Population Using AFLP Markers

  1. Yasas S. N. Ferdinandez,
  2. Bruce E. Coulman * and
  3. Yong-Bi Fu
  1. Agric. and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0X2


Diverse native grass populations are being developed for revegetation and land reclamation purposes, but little is known about the maintenance of the genetic diversity of these developed populations during the process of seed increase. The objectives of this study were to assess the genetic shift over two generations of seed increase in a multisite composite population (AC Pintail) of the self-pollinating awned slender wheatgrass [Elymus trachycaulus subsp. subsecundus (Link) Gould] and to compare its genetic variation with the released cultivar AEC Hillcrest. AC Pintail was formed by bulking seed of 200 plants collected from 60 sites across the prairie of western Canada. The amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique was applied to assay 50 plants from each of four populations (AC Pintail G0, G1, and G2 and AEC Hillcrest breeder seed). For each sample, seven AFLP primer pairs were applied and 194 polymorphic bands were scored. AC Pintail revealed more polymorphic bands (74%) than AEC Hillcrest (47%), and most of the scored bands for AEC Hillcrest had occurrence frequencies approaching 1 or 0. The largest within-population AFLP variation observed resided within AC Pintail G0 (30.3), followed by G1 (29.7), G2 (27.9), and AEC Hillcrest (10.4). Significant differences were found among these seed sources and >95% of the total AFLP variation resided within the three AC Pintail populations. Fifty-three bands displayed significant changes from G0 to G1 and 76 from G0 to G2 of AC Pintail. These results indicate that AC Pintail harbored more genetic variation than AEC Hillcrest but could lose up to 8% of the original diversity in the first two generations of seed increase.

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