Economic Botany: Evolution of Cultivated Plants
Lubinsky, Pesach , Kim, Seung-Chul .
Origins and variation of cultivated vanilla.
Vanilla Swartz [Orchidaceae] is a pan-tropical genus of more than 100 species of hemi-epiphytic and saprophytic herbs. The source of 95% of natural vanilla is the cured fruit of Vanilla planifolia G. Jacks, a rare, hemi-epiphytic orchid native to the humid, lowland evergreen forests of southern Mexico and Central America. Its strict asexual propagation and near total absence of morphological variation have fueled hypotheses that the entire stock of cultivated vanilla outside of Mexico is a genetically uniform, and highly susceptible monoculture. We sampled 110 cultivated and wild individuals of vanilla and conducted AFLP analysis in order to assess levels of diversity and relatedness within and between cultivars and wild relatives. Our preliminary results indicate low levels of diversity in cultivars with unique genotypes corresponding to populations from Oaxaca and Chiapas, and a single origin from Veracruz (Papantla) of cultivated material outside of Mexico. This research has identified unique genotypes of vanilla in natural populations in southern Mexico, the most critical sources of novel genetic diversity, and will contribute to conservation efforts to help prevent their disappearance.
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1 - University of California Riverside, Department of Botany & Plant Sciences, Plant Resources Informatics Laboratory, Riverside, California, 92521-0124, USA
2 - University of California Riverside, Department of Botany & Plant Sciences, Riverside, California, 92521-0124, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Lake Ontario/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:15 AM