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The knowledge about genetic diversity in the wild relatives of wheat provides useful information for breeding programs and gene pool management. In the present study, an assessment of agro-morphological diversity and molecular variability among 70 accessions of Triticum, belonging to T. boeoticum, T. urartu, T. durum and T. aestivum species, collected from different regions of Iran was made. According to phenotypic analysis, all traits except peduncle length, stem diameter and the number of seeds per spike indicated a high level of diversity among studied accessions. Also, principal component analysis identified six components that explained 87.53% of the total variation in agro-morphological traits. In molecular analysis, 15 start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism primers produced 166 bands, out of which, 162 (97.59%) were polymorphic. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated the 63% of the variation resided among populations. The maximum value of polymorphism information content (PIC), the observed (Na) and effective (Ne) number of alleles, Nie’s gene diversity (He) and Shannon’s information index (I) was detected for T. boeoticum than the other species. The SCoT-based tree revealed three different groups corresponding to the genomic constitution in Triticum germplasm, which was in part confirmed by STRUCTURE and principal coordinate (PCoA) analyses. Our results indicated a remarkable level of genetic diversity among studied Iranian Triticum species, especially T. boeoticum, which can be of interest for future breeding and other analyses associated with future studies of the wild relatives of wheat. More importantly, our results revealed that SCoT markers could be used to accurate evaluate genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among different Triticum species.

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Sorghum can be an alternative to corn for industrial uses, especially in drought prone areas of the world. Sorghum cultivars with high potential of grain and starch yields are needed to continuously meet the industrial demands. We have studied the genetics of grain yield and starch content of sorghum to decide the breeding procedure to develop suitable cultivars for starch industry. The genetic material from 8 × 8 diallel (28 F1 and 8 parents) was grown in a randomized complete block design, with three replications at Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad, India. Observations were recorded on seven agro-morphological and two grain quality traits including grain yield and starch content. Correlation studies revealed that the grain hardness was negatively correlated to starch and positively correlated to grain yield, panicle weight and days to flowering. Variance due to specific combining ability effects was greater in magnitude for both starch content and grain yield. Bi-parental crossing in F2 will help in getting pure lines with high starch content and high grain yield. The parents chosen for breeding program need to be good combiners for starch and grain yields to obtain superior hybrid. One MS line, 422B was a good combiner for grain yield, high starch content and 100 grain weight, and had good per se performance.

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Durum wheat landraces are still cultivated to take advantage of their excellent grain and straw quality, adaptation to abiotic stresses, and extremely wide variety of uses. The safeguarding and rehabilitation of genetic inheritance requires genetic characterization and evaluation. In this study, forty durum wheat landraces originating from Mediterranean countries were evaluated according to agro-morphological and technological properties. We show that the germplasm was highly variable. The mean yellow pigment and protein content was higher in landraces (15.58%; 7.32 ppm) than in the Moroccan cultivars used as controls (14.6%; 5.48 ppm). In addition, principal component analysis identified five groups showing variable agronomic and qualitative characteristics that might be useful in the rational design of breeding programs.

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