Evaluation of Genetic Diversity in Some Cerasus Sub-Genus Wild Genotypes Using Plant Vegetative and Seed Characteristics



Some Cerasus sub-genus wild species that are used as rootstocks in sour and sweet cherry propagation can also be employed in breeding programs. The aim of this study was to clearly evaluate some characteristics of subgenus Cerasus genotypes to be used in the future cherries' breeding programs. In order to evaluate some morphological characteristics of the vegetative parts as well as seeds to categorize Cerasus sub-genus wild species and genotypes, 38 characteristics were evaluated on 28 genotypes of four species of this sub-genus collected from eight regions. The species were: P. avium L., P. mahaleb L. (Eucerasus section), P. incana Pall., and P.microcarpa Bioss. (Microcerasus section). Analysis of variance of the studied characteristics were found as significant among genotypes. Results of simple correlation analysis showed the existence of significant, positive as well as negative correlations among some such important characteristics as tree height, leaf area, as well as the length and weight of seed. Also, factor analysis showed that tree height, leaf area, leaf shape, length of petiole, length of seed, seed weight, shape of seed tip and seed thickness were characteristics that constituted the main factors. The effective characteristics became categorized within seven factors, accounting for 85.71% of total variance. Cluster analysis was performed using these seven factors and genotypes in the distance of about 25 were divided into two main groups (Microcerasus and Eucerasus) and within the distance of 19 they were divided into four groups consisting of the species. In the distance of 10 there appeared a higher number of groups (8 groups), resulting from intra-species differences of plants collected from different regions, such that genotypes of same species from one region often categorized with each other. Tri-plot analysis using three main factors could also clarify the location of genotypes and differentiote the species from each other.