Isozyme polymorphism and genetic differentiation in natural populations of an endemic tetraploid species Avena maroccana in Morocco

Toshinobu Morikawa, J. Michael Leggett

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A wild tetraploid oat Avena maroccana Gdgr. was collected from the 11 populations in the periphery of Rommani and Casablanca geographic groups of Morocco. Genetic diversity of the species was investigated using six allozyme systems. Allelic frequencies were scored representing eight polymorphic and five monomorphic loci. Coefficient of gene differentiation (Gst) was 0.3019, which indicated great genetic differentiation. The number of alleles per locus was 2.6154, the percentage of polymorphic loci was 61.54, and the expected heterozygosity was 0.2462 in all populations. Genetic diversity in A. maroccana was high in comparison to self-pollinated species. In total, nine heterozygotes resulting from outcrossing were found in the progeny from M1, M3, M4, M22 and M26. The population of M7 had peculiar alleles Pgd–2SS and Pgd-1SS in high frequency. M9 had the lowest level of diversity out of the 11 populations. Geographic and genetic distances between all the populations were not significantly correlated with each other (r = 0.0996). Cluster analysis showed that two groups, (M1, M22, M2 and M4) and (M3, M23, M8, M5 and M26) were apparently differentiated. Two populations of the Casablanca group, M7 and M9 were independent from each other, and were separated distinctly from the other populations. Genetic diversity of the Rommani and Casablanca groups was almost the same in all the parameters. This was due to the similar man-made habitat such as roadside or rich fertile soil and brown clay soils. The population size of A. maroccana was small and restricted to the narrow central Morocco with great genetic differentiation so that genetic diversity may be reflected from the results of genetic drift and outcrossing heterozygote segregation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1321
Number of pages9
JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Issue number8
Early online date10 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2008


  • Avena maroccana
  • genetic differentiation
  • genetic diversity
  • isozyme
  • oat
  • plant germplasm


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