Tuesday, September 27, 2011: 4:30 PM
The wild relatives of the edible European pears (Pyrus communis L.) are native to the Central Asia and Eastern Europe. We have sampled 260 individuals of wild-collected Pyrus communis ssp. caucasica and Pyrus communis ssp. pyraster from their native habitats and used 13 microsatellite markers to determine the genetic relationships among the individuals. Clustering, ordination, and population statistics provide support to the subspecies designations and elucidate within and among family structure. These data were also used to identify individuals to include in core subsets that represent the broader marker diversity of the wild populations. These subsets can be specifically targeted for further characterization and evaluation trials and may provide unique alleles of interest to the breeding community.