Research Article

Initial assessment of natural diversity in Mexican fig landraces

Published: September 23, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 3931-3943 DOI: 10.4238/2013.September.23.12

Abstract

The common fig (Ficus carica L.) was introduced into Mexico by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the 16th century. It is widely assumed that Mexican figs are the Spanish cultivar Black Mission. We collected and propagated 12 fig plants from six landraces from different states in Central Mexico that represent different climate. All of them were grown in a greenhouse at Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, in the State of Mexico. During the experimental period, the greenhouse had an average temperature and relative humidity of 29.2° ± 5.4°C (SEM) and 78.1 ± 6.7% (SEM), respectively. Morphological characterization was done following a selected set of quantitative and qualitative descriptors established by the IPGRI. DNA analysis was based on a combination of ISSR and RFLP markers. We observed great diversity mainly in fruit weight (28.1-96.2 g), fruit shape (ovoid, pyriform), and neck length (0.97-3.80 cm), which could not be explained by environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. The Nei and Li/Dice similarity coefficient between landraces was determined by cluster analysis using the UPGMA method. Based on the morphological characterization and DNA fingerprinting data presented in this study, our results showed that after hundreds of years, black figs have adapted to local environmental condition in Central Mexico, yielding at least six clearly distinct landraces that represent valuable and previously undescribed genetic diversity. We also suggested names for those landraces according to their location and established a basis for further agronomic and molecular characterization of fig landraces.

The common fig (Ficus carica L.) was introduced into Mexico by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the 16th century. It is widely assumed that Mexican figs are the Spanish cultivar Black Mission. We collected and propagated 12 fig plants from six landraces from different states in Central Mexico that represent different climate. All of them were grown in a greenhouse at Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, in the State of Mexico. During the experimental period, the greenhouse had an average temperature and relative humidity of 29.2° ± 5.4°C (SEM) and 78.1 ± 6.7% (SEM), respectively. Morphological characterization was done following a selected set of quantitative and qualitative descriptors established by the IPGRI. DNA analysis was based on a combination of ISSR and RFLP markers. We observed great diversity mainly in fruit weight (28.1-96.2 g), fruit shape (ovoid, pyriform), and neck length (0.97-3.80 cm), which could not be explained by environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. The Nei and Li/Dice similarity coefficient between landraces was determined by cluster analysis using the UPGMA method. Based on the morphological characterization and DNA fingerprinting data presented in this study, our results showed that after hundreds of years, black figs have adapted to local environmental condition in Central Mexico, yielding at least six clearly distinct landraces that represent valuable and previously undescribed genetic diversity. We also suggested names for those landraces according to their location and established a basis for further agronomic and molecular characterization of fig landraces.