The aim of this study was to obtain primary information about the global diversity of garlic (Allium sativum L.) by evaluating morphological, physiological and isozyme variation. A total of 107 garlic accessions collected worldwide were grown in Yamaguchi, Japan. Five morphological traits (bulb weight, bulb diameter, number of cloves per bulb, number of bulbils and scape length) and one physiological trait (bolting period) of the collected garlic showed wide variation. Meanwhile, a total of 140 garlic accessions, including the 107 mentioned above, were characterized by leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) and phosphoglucoisomerase (PGI) isozyme analyses; they clearly showed polymorphisms in putative isozyme loci (Lap-1, Lap-2, and Pgi-1). Allelic frequencies were estimated in each group of accessions categorized by their geographical origin, and the observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosities were calculated. The allelic frequencies differed between groups. A principal component analysis based on morpho-physiological data indicated a grouping of the garlic accessions into Central Asian and Northern Mediterranean groups as well as others. We discuss the roles of artificial and natural selection that may have caused differentiation in these traits, on the assumption that ancestral domesticated garlic populations have adapted in various regions using standing variation or mutations that accumulated during expansion, and have evolved along with human-preferred traits over a long history of cultivation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology