Angioi, Simonetta Agostina and Rau, Domenico and Attene, Giovanna and Nanni, Laura and Bellucci, Elisa and Logozzo, Giuseppina and Negri, Valeria and Spagnoletti Zeuli, Pier Luigi and Papa, Roberto (2010) Beans in Europe: origin and structure of the European landraces of Phaseolus vulgaris L. TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Vol. 121 (5), p. 829-843. eISSN 1432-2242. Article.
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This study focuses on the expansion of Phaseolus vulgaris in Europe. The pathways of distribution of beans into and across Europe were very complex, with several introductions from the New World that were combined with direct exchanges between European and other Mediterranean countries. We have analyzed here six chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) loci and two unlinked nuclear loci (for phaseolin types and Pv-shatterproof1). We have assessed the genetic structure and level of diversity of a large collection of European landraces of P. vulgaris (307) in comparison to 94 genotypes from the Americas that are representative of the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools. First, we show that most of the European common bean landraces (67%) are of Andean origin, and that there are no strong differences across European regions for the proportions of the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools. Moreover, cytoplasmic diversity is evenly distributed across European regions. Secondly, the cytoplasmic bottleneck that was due to the introduction of P. vulgaris into the Old World was very weak or nearly absent. This is in contrast to evidence from nuclear analyses that have suggested a bottleneck of greater intensity. Finally, we estimate that a relatively high proportion of the European bean germplasm (about 44%) was derived from hybridization between the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools. Moreover, although hybrids are present everywhere in Europe, they show an uneven distribution, with high frequencies in central Europe, and low frequencies in Spain and Italy. On the basis of these data, we suggest that the entire European continent and not only some of the countries therein can be regarded as a secondary diversification center for P. vulgaris. Finally, we outline the relevance of these inter-gene pool hybrids for plant breeding.
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