Sulla (Hedysarum coronarium L.) is a short-lived perennial forage legume that plays a key role in cereal-based systems in semi-arid Mediterranean regions, particularly in organic production and low-input oriented agriculture. In Sicily, the species is widespread both as a wild and cultivated plant. The present study assessed the phenotypic and genetic variation among natural populations of sulla collected from different environments throughout Sicily and analysed how the patterns of phenotypic diversity varied according to the environmental parameters of each collection site. Two commercial varieties and two Sicilian agro-ecotypes were also included in the study as controls. Principal components analysis (PCA) was performed on the sites using geographic, climatic, and pedological data to assess the differences in types of collection sites. PCA was also performed on the accessions (using pheno-morphological and agronomic data) to establish the importance of different traits in explaining multivariate polymorphisms. The results showed a large degree of genetic diversity (based on ISSR markers) and variability in pheno-morphological and agronomic traits. PCA did not clearly differentiate the accessions according to their habitats of origin, but in some cases accessions from the same habitat had a tendency to group together. The agronomic attributes of several populations were more pronounced than those of the controls. The observed variability may be valuable when selecting for H. coronarium varieties suitable for various uses (e.g., hay production, grazing, soil protection).
|Numero di pagine||13|
|Rivista||Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2011|
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