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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

ISSR markers show differentiation among Italian populations of Asparagus acutifolius L

Maria Sica, Graziella Gamba, Stefania Montieri, Luciano Gaudio and Serena Aceto*

Author Affiliations

Dipartimento di Genetica, Biologia generale e molecolare, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy

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BMC Genetics 2005, 6:17  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-6-17

Published: 18 March 2005

Abstract

Background

Asparagus acutifolius L. is a dioecious and native plant species, widely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin. It is known for its fine flavour and could represent an important resource for cultivation programs in desert areas. Few molecular studies have been performed on this species. In the present paper, the ISSR technique was employed to study genetic diversity in Italian A. acutifolius.

Results

Twenty-three primers produced a total of 228 polymorphic fragments used to evaluate genetic variation. FST (0.4561) and Theta B (0.4776) values indicate a wide genetic variation among the samples examined. The distance UPGMA tree grouped together the genotypes strictly according to their geographical origin, showing that each sample is genetically structured and can be considered a distinct population. AMOVA analysis further confirmed genetic structuring of the populations. Population-specific fragments were also detected.

Conclusion

The results suggest that ISSR markers are useful in distinguishing the populations of A. acutifolius according to geographical origin, and confirm the importance of genetic studies for designing germplasm conservation strategies.