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Genetic diversity of Moroccan populations of Orobanche foetida: evolving from parasitising wild hosts to crop plants

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VazPattoMC, Díaz-RuizR, SatovicZ, RománB, Pujadas-SalvàAJ & RubialesD (2008). Genetic diversity of Moroccan populations of Orobanche foetida: evolving from parasitising wild hosts to crop plants. Weed Research48, 179–186. Summary

Orobanche foetida is widely distributed in western Mediterranean countries infecting wild legumes. Recently it has been reported in Morocco infecting common vetch, presenting a further constraint for legume production in this area. Comparative studies between Orobanche populations attacking wild species and Orobanche populations growing on crops from the same region may help to clarify whether a host specialisation process occurred. In the present study, the genetic variability of five O. foetida populations, four infecting wild plants and one infecting cultivated vetch in Morocco was characterised using amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to elucidate the existing genetic relationship between populations and to suggest a potential origin for the recently detected vetch-infecting population. Analysis of molecular variance suggested the existence of genotypic differentiation among populations. The most genetic divergent population by cluster analysis was the population collected on Ornithopus sativus. The vetch-infecting O. foetida population was closer to the three populations infecting Scorpiurus muricatus. The possibility of the presence of a reservoir of diversity is balanced against direct genetic adaptation and completely new introduction. The potential for this Orobanche species to shift host and become a threat to agriculture exists and has to be taken into account for future legume breeding for these areas.
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Keywords: Morocco; broomrape; genetic variability; host specialisation; parasitic plant

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Plant Cell Biotechnology Lab, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal 2: Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Puebla, Puebla, Mexico 3: Department of Seed Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia 4: Departamento de Mejora y Agronomía, CIFA ‘Alameda del Obispo’, IFAPA, Córdoba, Spain 5: Departamento de Ciencias y Recursos Agrícolas y Forestales, UCO-ETSIAM, Córdoba, Spain 6: Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible, CSIC, Córdoba, Spain

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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