Evaluation of population structure within diploid Agrostis germplasm based on miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements

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The bentgrasses (Agrostis spp.) are valuable species to the turfgrass industry. The bentgrasses have complex genomes resulting from interspecifi c hybridization and polyploidization events. The New England Velvet Bentgrass collection along with diploid germplasm present in the National Plant Germplasm System represent the largest collections of publicly available diploid Agrostis germplasm within the United States. In the present study, 1225 miniature inverted-repeat transposable element (MITE)-display genetic markers were used to assess the amount of genetic diversity within a collection of 181 diploid Agrostis selections. Structure v. 2.3.3 was used to determine population structure and suggests that five subpopulations best explain the genetic variation present within this germplasm. An analysis of molecular variance and principal coordinate analysis also supports the subgroupings defined by the Structure analysis. Nine selections were found to be genetically similar to Agrostis stolonifera L. and may be related to one of its diploid progenitors. Our improved understanding of the genetic diversity among these diploid selections, resulting from this study, will help Agrostis breeders transfer important traits from these unimproved selections for cultivar improvement. © Crop Science Society of America.

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Crop Science