Authors:X. Li, X. Xu, X. Yang, X. Li, W. Liu, A. Gao, and L. Li
Youzimai is a widespread wheat landrace and has been used extensively in breeding programs in China. In order to assess the genetic variation between and within Youzimai accessions, samples of 31 landrace accessions of wheat, all called ‘Youzimai’, were collected from 6 geographic regions in China and evaluated using morphological traits, seedling resistance to powdery mildew, gliadin and microsatellite markers. Typical differences among accessions were observed in morphological characteristics. Forty-five (58.4%) of 77 assayed SSR markers showed polymorphism over the entire collection and total 226 alleles were identified with an average of 5.02 alleles per locus. SSR data indicated that the accessions from Hebei province were the most diverse, as evidenced by greatest number of region-specific alleles and highest diversity index. These accessions, therefore, probably experienced the most substantial morphological and molecular evolution as a result of various natural and anthropomorphic influences. On the other hand, differentiation in gliadin phenotypes was found among seeds within 80.6% of total accessions and average 61.5% of entire collections showed heterogeneous and comprised resistant plants in reaction to powdery mildew, suggesting the presence of a wide diversity within the wheat landrace. By developing an intimate knowledge of the available wheat genotypes, appropriate selections can be made for commercial application in order to conserve and exploit the diversity of the wheat landraces.