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Abstract Detail

Crops and Wild Relatives

Ellestad, Paige [1], Perez-Farrera, Miguel Angel [2], Forest, Felix [3], Buerki, Sven [1].

Overlooked genetic diversity of vanilla cultivars in their origin offers hope for sustainability.

Understanding the gene pool of crop species is an important component for assessing resilience, improving cultivars, and ensuring crop sustainability under changing climatic conditions. Although vanilla is one of the best known spices, very little is known of its basic biology, ecology and species delimitation. There is limited information on its genetic variability within its purported origin, Mexico, where phenotypic variability is high. This lack of knowledge creates a barrier that prevents estimating the effect of climate change on vanilla sustainability. This study aims to bridge this gap by assessing species delimitation and genetic variability within Mexican vanilla along an environmental gradient in three regions. We hypothesized that phenotypic variation is a result of phenotypic plasticity as a response to contrasting climates and therefore represents a single species with limited genetic variation. To test this hypothesis, we assess monophyly and genetic variability based on the phylogenetic species concept using nuclear and plastid DNA sequence data from Mexican and foreign cultivars. Resulting phylogenetic analyses recovered three clades of Mexican vanilla cultivars; identifying the presence of at least three species in cultivation: Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pompona, and Vanilla insignis; overall, rejecting our initial hypothesis. Genetic analyses revealed 13 haplotypes among Mexican vanilla cultivars; eight of which exclusively consisted of Mexican samples. Haplotype richness was found to be highest in Papantla and La Chinantla. One dominant haplotype of V. planifolia occurred throughout all three regions and climatic niches, as well as outside of its country of origin. Results from this study can be used as a basis to conduct further genomic investigation into the domestication of vanilla cultivars to aid the preservation of genetic diversity within this economically important crop.

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1 - Boise State University, 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID, 83725, United States
2 - Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Av 1a. Sur Pte 1460, Tuxtla GutiƩrrez, Chiapas, Mexico
3 - Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom

genetic diversity
DNA Barcoding
Ecological niche.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CW1, Crops and Wild Relatives I
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: CW1001
Abstract ID:841
Candidate for Awards:None

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