Diversity of Algerian oases date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., Arecaceae) : Heterozygote excess and cryptic structure suggest farmer management had a major impact on diversity - Université de Montpellier Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue PLoS ONE Année : 2017

Diversity of Algerian oases date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., Arecaceae) : Heterozygote excess and cryptic structure suggest farmer management had a major impact on diversity

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Date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) is the mainstay of oasis agriculture in the Saharan region. It is cultivated in a large part of the Mediterranean coastal area of the Sahara and in most isolated oases in the Algerian desert. We sampled 10 oases in Algeria to understand the structure of date palm diversity from the coastal area to a very isolated desert location. We used 18 microsatellite markers and a chloroplast minisatellite to characterize 414 individual palm trees corresponding to 114 named varieties. We found a significant negative inbreeding coefficient, suggesting active farmer selection for heterozygous individuals. Three distinct genetic clusters were identified, a ubiquitous set of varieties found across the different oases, and two clusters, one of which was specific to the northern area, and the other to the drier southern area of the Algerian Sahara. The ubiquitous cluster presented very striking chloroplast diversity, signing the frequency of haplotypes found in Saudi Arabia, the most eastern part of the date palm range. Exchanges of Middle Eastern and Algerian date palms are known to have occurred and could have led to the introduction of this particular chlorotype. However, Algerian nuclear diversity was not of eastern origin. Our study strongly suggests that the peculiar chloroplastic diversity of date palm is maintained by farmers and could originate from date palms introduced from the Middle East a long time ago, which since then, hasbeen strongly introgressed. This study illustrates the complex structure of date palm diversity in Algerian oases and the role of farmers in shaping such cryptic diversity.
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hal-03346207 , version 1 (16-09-2021)

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Souhila Moussouni, Jean-Christophe Pintaud, Yves Vigouroux, Nadia Bouguedoura. Diversity of Algerian oases date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L., Arecaceae) : Heterozygote excess and cryptic structure suggest farmer management had a major impact on diversity. PLoS ONE, 2017, 12 (4), pp.e0175232. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0175232⟩. ⟨hal-03346207⟩
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