Authors:G. Mangini, D. Nigro, B. Margiotta, P. De Vita, A. Gadaleta, R. Simeone, and A. Blanco
During the last century wheat landraces were replaced by modern wheat cultivars leading to a gradual process of genetic erosion. Landraces genotyping and phenotyping are strategically useful, as they could broaden the genetic base of modern cultivars. In this research, we explored Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers diversity in a collection of common and durum wheats, including both landraces and Italian elite cultivars. A panel of 6,872 SNP markers was used to analyze the genetic variability among the accessions, using both the Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and the Neighbour Joining clustering method. PCA analysis separated common wheat accessions from durum ones, and allowed to group separately durum landraces from durum elite cultivars. The Neighbour joining clustering validated PCA results, and moreover, separated common wheat landraces from common elite cultivars. The clustering results demonstrated that Italian durum landraces were poorly exploited in modern breeding programs. Combining cluster results with heterozygosity levels observed, it was possible to clarify synonymy and homonymy cases identified for Bianchetta, Risciola, Saragolla, Timilia and Dauno III accessions. The SNP panel was also used to detect the minimum number of markers to discriminate the studied accessions. A set of 33 SNPs were found to be highly informative and used for a molecular barcode, which could be useful for cultivar identification and for the traceability of wheat end-products.