For flax, a self-pollinating agricultural crop, experts dealing with plant variety testing for granting Plant Breeders' Rights have noted a decreasing morphological variation between candidate varieties. This study aimed to evaluate the use of molecular markers as additional descriptors for genetic variation. The use of six AFLP primer combinations enabled the differentiation of all tested varieties. Two types of statistical analysis were applied to assess the genetic variation: (1) Analysis of Molecular Variance, and (2) computation of the average Jaccard similarity between single plants belonging to the same variety. A major part of the genetic variation (13 could be explained by the division between new and old varieties, the division between linseed and fibre flax accounted only for 3% of the total variance. However, the variation within new and old varieties did not differ. As further tested on a subset of 17 morphologically very similar varieties, AFLP marker data were able to reveal extra sources of genetic variation. Statistical analysis using Mantel tests proved that ordinations based on AFLP marker frequency data were reproducible and independent of the resemblance measure used, This can be exploited in plant variety testing as an additional tool for determining the distinctness of new varieties that are morphologically difficult to differentiate.
|Tijdschrift||Plant Varieties and Seeds|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2001|