Gene pools in wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) from the Americas: evidences for an Andean origin and past migrations
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/42877
The aims of this research were to assess the genetic structure of wild Phaseolus lunatus L. in the Americas and the hypothesis of a relatively recent Andean origin of the species. For this purpose, nuclear and non-coding chloroplast DNA markers were analyzed in a collection of 59 wild Lima bean accessions and six allied species. Twenty-three chloroplast and 28 nuclear DNA haplotypes were identified and shown to be geographically structured. Three highly divergent wild Lima bean gene pools, AI, MI, and MII, with mostly non-overlapping geographic ranges, are proposed. The results support an Andean origin of wild Lima beans during Pleistocene times and an early divergence of the three gene pools at an age that is posterior to completion of the Isthmus of Panama and major Andean orogeny. Gene pools would have evolved and reached their current geographic distribution mainly in isolation and therefore are of high priority for conservation and breeding programs.