Plant Diversity ›› 2015, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (01): 29-37.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201514048

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Genetic Involvement of Camellia taliensis in the Domestication of C.sinensis var. assamica (Assimica Tea) Revealed by Nuclear Microsatellite Markers

 LI  Miao-Miao-1、3, MEEGAHAKUMBURA  M. Kasun1、2、3, YAN  Li-Jun-1、2、3, LIU  Jie-1, GAO  Lian-Ming-1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming 650201, China; 2 Germplasm Bank of Wild Species in Southwest China, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese
    Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China; 3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2014-03-21 Online:2015-01-25 Published:2014-04-14
  • Supported by:

    国家自然科学基金国际 (地区) 合作与交流项目 (31161140350),科技基础性工作专项项目 (2012FY110800)


The levels of genetic diversity and population structure were assessed for 104 ancient tea plants from three Camellia taliensis populations, three Csinensis var. assamica populations and two transitional populations of Ctaliensis based on data from 11 nuclear microsatellite loci. In this study, a relative low genetic diversity was revealed for all three population groups. The average number of alleles (Na) was 485, the average Shannon’s diversity index (I) was 117, the average expected heterozygosity (He) and observed heterozygosity (Ho) was 059 and 052 respectively, for the studied populations. The level of genetic diversity of Ctaliensis was lower than for Csinensis var. assamica and the transitional Ctaliensis. An AMOVA analysis indicated a significant genetic differentiation (FST=0305) between populations of Csinensis var. assamica and Ctaliensis. Most of the genetic variation was partitioned within population of Csinensis var. assamica (9351%) and Ctaliensis (8941%), and a low partition among populations (649% and 1059%, respectively). Populations of Csinensis var. assamica and Ctaliensis (including the transitional populations of Ctaliensis) formed two distinct genetic clusters in a principal component analysis (PCoA) and in STRUCTURE clustering, which suggests that the transitional populations of Ctaliensis originated mainly from Ctaliensis, and then followed somewhat genetic differentiation during the process of domestication. Gene introgression was detected in the cultivated Csinensis var. assamica and Ctaliensis from the same tea garden, and genetic material of Ctaliensis apparently infiltrated into Csinensis var. assamica. This study demonstrated that Ctaliensis was genetically involved in the domestication of Csinensis var. assamica. Finally, suggestions on how to protect the genetic resources of ancient tea plants are discussed on the findings in this study.

Key words: Camellia sinensis var. assamica, Camellia taliensis, Domestication, Genetic diversity, Microsatellite (SSR), STRUCTURE clustering

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