Genetic diversity and population structure of a common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) collection from Calabria (Italy)
Eighty-seven Phaseolus vulgaris landraces, still cultivated in Calabria (Italy), were investigated in order to study the patterns of common bean genetic diversity in this region, to better understand the evolutionary development of beans in Europe and to properly manage these genetic resources. Four American accessions and five Italian varieties were also included. Different markers, such as 12 microsatellites, seed traits, phaseolins and 100-seed weight were combined with different statistical approaches. For each microsatellite, expected (H e ) and observed (H o ) heterozygosities, polymorphism information content (PIC), probability of identity (PI) and homozygosity were calculated. Furthermore, in Calabrian group of bean landraces, total (N a ) and private (N pa ) number of alleles, observed (H o ), expected heterozygosities (H e ) and allelic richness (AR) were calculated. Genetic distances among landraces were estimated using Nei’s coefficient and a cluster analysis using the UPGMA algorithm was performed. The results clearly indicated that: (1) Calabrian germplasm showed a high level of diversity (H e = 0.595); (2) Mesoamerican and Andean gene pools were clearly distinguished in Calabrian germplasm, with the Andean gene pool predominating (83 %); (3) Calabrian landraces were largely hybridized within and between the gene pools. A model-based approach, using the STRUCTURE software, was adopted. Six groups, including 4 of Andean origin and one of Mesoamerican origin were identified. Even more interesting, a small group (8 %) showed a distinct genetic structure, in which interspecific hybridizations with runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) could have occurred. Nevertheless, a relatively high proportion of Calabrian bean landraces (12.6 %) was derived from intra and interspecific hybridizations.