عنوان مقاله [English]
In order to study genetic diversity and some of the quality and agronomic traits in saffron, six cultivated ecotypes were collected from different regions of the Khorasan province (Mashhad, Torbat-Jam, Gonabad, Torbat-Heydarieh, Qaen and Birjand) and they were evaluated during two cropping seasons in 2011-13 in the research farm of the agricultural faculty, Urmia University, Urmia-Iran. The farming results showed that there were significant differences between the ecotypes in the studied agronomic and qualitative traits. Thus,, the cluster analysis grouped ecotypes Torbat-Heydarieh, Mashhad and Torbat-Jam in a cluster and ecotypes Birjand, Qaen and Gonabad in the other cluster. The results of mean comparison also showed that ecotypes Torbat-Heydarieh and Mashhad were the best saffron ecotypes in the Urmia condition. On the other hand, the genetic results showed that 22 of 30 SSR primers (73%) detected a total of 44 polymorphic alleles (average 2). The average of Shannon index (I), genetic diversity (h) and polymorphic information content (PIC) were estimated to be 0.688, 0.424 and 0.402, respectively. These results not only clarified the existence of genetic diversities among saffron ecotypes, but also, the genetic diversities were proven with other analyses such as analysis of molecular variance. The results of cluster analysis of Darwin grouped each ecotype of Birjand, Mashhad and Gonabad in a cluster and three ecotypes. Torbat-Heydarieh, Qaen and Torbat-Jam were placed in the same cluster because of their high genetic similarity. This grouping was confirmed by principal coordinate analysis. It was notable that high genetic similarities were estimated between saffron ecotypes (65-90%). Overall, the results of this research not only introduced microsatellite molecular markers as useful tools for evaluating genetic diversity and grouping of saffron ecotypes, but also confirmed that saffron is not a monomorphic plant and we can identify useful genetic diversities for breeding programs.
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