In this study, we evaluated by the RAPD technique the genetic diversity of 42 individual Vaccinium myrtillus L. plant samples, collected from different locations of Tuscan Apennines (Italy), which represent the southernmost growing latitude of this plant. Total polyphenols, total anthocyanins and radical scavenging activity were also determined in two successive harvesting years on bilberry samples obtained from the same individuals characterized by molecular analysis. The RAPD analysis indicated a highly prevalent gamic propagation of bilberry in the investigated area, and, in accordance with genetic findings elsewhere reported for populations of Central and Northern Europe, suggested the presence, from North-to-South Europe, of a clonal-to-gamic genetic gradient of the propagation strategy. In the context of a quite homogeneous panorama of biochemical data, significant variations were occasionally evidenced by comparing closely-located individuals. We tentatively attributed such variations mainly to genetics, due to the very close location of biomes exhibiting different biochemical attributes. However, molecular clustering by RAPD did not show any relationship with biochemical diversity. Strong variations of climatic conditions were probable responsible of the remarkable variability of the investigated biochemical parameters in the two harvesting years.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 23, 2018
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