Relationships among different geographical groups, agro-morphology, fatty acid composition and RAPD marker diversity in Safflower ( Carthamus tinctorius )

Khan, Muhammad ; von Witzke-Ehbrecht, Sabine ; Maass, Brigitte ; Becker, Heiko

In: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 2009, vol. 56, no. 1, p. 19-30

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    Patterns of geographical diversity, and the relationship between agro-morphological traits and fatty acid composition were assessed for 193 safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) accessions representing forty countries. Accessions were assigned to eight groups based on geographical proximity. Cluster and Principal Component analyses were performed to assess patterns of diversity among the accessions and to select the most distant accessions from each of eight groups for analysis of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. There was a large amount of diversity for agro-morphological traits, fatty acid composition, and RAPD markers. Most correlations among different traits were rather low. Plant height showed a positive correlation with days to flowering (r=0.63**). Palmitic acid was positively correlated with stearic acid and oleic acid values, and negatively correlated with linoleic acid (P<0.01). Oleic acid and linoleic acid showed a strong negative correlation (r=−0.89**). The first three principal components together explained 59% of the variation, however, neither principal component analysis (PCA) nor marker analysis revealed a clear relationship between diversity pattern and geographical origin. Accessions from some geographical regions tended to group together, such as accessions from South Western Asia, Central Western Europe, and the Mediterranean region. The correlation between the morphological matrix and the genetic matrix based on RAPD markers was not significant (r=0.027). Wide diversity in safflower germplasm indicates a considerable potential for improving this crop for both agronomic and quality traits