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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 693: III International Chestnut Congress

DNA-TYPING OF CULTIVARS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CHESTNUT INDUSTRY IN CHILE

Authors:   G. Bounous, A. Akkak, G.L. Beccaro, R. Botta, D. Torello Marinoni, J.P. Joublan
Keywords:   Castanea sativa, Eurojapanese hybrids, SSR, identification, true-to-typeness
Abstract:
European chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) was introduced in Chile by settlers coming from Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Chestnut orchards currently cover a surface of about 417 ha and are constituted of seedlings of Castanea sativa; mostly located in the VIII and IX Region. Nut production is rather heterogeneous and not valuable to start a competitive chestnut industry. For this reason, new plantings should be established using cultivars already famous for their quality or specifically selected for the good traits within the Chilean germplasm. Genetic material of Eurojapanese and European chestnut cultivars was introduced from France and Italy following the severe quarantine rules. This material is at present grown in a collection field and could be used for planting new orchards, but its identity was never checked. DNA-typing techniques offer precious tools for evaluating chestnut germplasm to detect errors in accession names and discover cases of homonymy and synonymy. SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats) are considered the markers of choice for genotyping, due to their polymorphism, codominant inheritance, reliability and relatively simple analysis procedure based on polymerase chain reaction. In this work 53 chestnut individuals, from the recently introduced Italian and Eurojapanese hybrid cultivars, were analysed at 7 SSR loci in order to verify their genetic identity by comparison with true-to-type reference trees. DNA analysis confirmed the cultivar identity of most individuals and true-to-type plant material will be propagated and used for the planting of orchards in Chile.
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