Functional genetic diversity analysis and identification of associated SSRs and AFLPs markers to drought tolerance in Lentils landraces
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Genetic diversity of 70 Mediterranean lentil landraces was assessed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP). Their variation for root and shoot traits and drought tolerance was evaluated using relative water content, water losing rate and wilting score. High level of genetic variation and clear differentiation of landraces from Morocco from those from northern Mediterranean originating from Italy, Turkey and Greece were found according to both SSR and AFLP techniques. High genetic variation for root and shoot traits as well as for drought tolerance was obtained. No correlation of drought response with landraces origin. Landraces with higher dry root biomass, chlorophyll content and root-shoot ratio were drought tolerant with higher relative water content and lower water losing rate and wilting severity. Kruskal-Wallis non- parametric test (K-W) was used to find associated SSRs and AFLPs to RWC, WLR and WS. Regression analysis showed six SSRs and AFLPs alleles explaining the highest phenotypic variation of RWC, WLR and WS. Functional genetic diversity based on drought response of landraces as estimated by RWC, WLR and WS was shown using SSRs and AFLPs alleles linked to these parameters according to K-W using canonical discriminant analysis. This highlighted the feasibility of association mapping studies aiming to find associated DNA markers with drought tolerance in larger number of lentil landraces.