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ŠUMARSKI LIST 11-12/2012 str. 35     <-- 35 -->        PDF

Marrons are varieties of the European chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) obtained through selection, which have been grown since antiquity for the production of large and high quality fruits. In Croatia, marrons were planted on private properties on the eastern slopes of the Učka mountain, in the environs of Lovran, and are hence known as the "Lovran marron". There has been no scientific research of the Lovran marron to date, and it is unknown which plant material was used to raise the plantations, or how many different genotypes are represented. Those insights are crucial for any further steps to be undertaken in order to conserve the existing genetic resources. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity of the Lovran marron trees in the existing plantations, by using microsatellite markers. The study was conducted on a sample of 72 trees, using 5 microsatellite markers (Table 1). The analysis demonstrated the presence of 11 multilocus genotypes, pointing to the diversity and abundance of sweet chestnut taxa in the Lovran area, which have not yet been taxonomically defined and bear the collective name of the "Lovran marron". The majority of analyzed trees, specifically 58 individuals, had a uniform genetic structure and areassigned to the MG01 cultivar, which is therefore the most represented cultivar in the researched area, i.e. the one most often grown. However, not all trees are uniform, which is proven by the fact that the remaining 14 analyzed trees belong to 10 different gene pools. Of the 14 trees, 2 had not been grafted, but are found in the plantations together with the grafted marrons and are genetically specific as is to be expected. The remaining 12 grafted trees belong to 9 gene pools. Out of those, 5 trees share common alleles on all loci and are assigned the MG02 cultivar, whereas 7 trees were genetically unique and classified into 7 different cultivars (Tables 2, 3, 4 and Figure 1). Consequently, with regard to the "Lovran marron" operational taxonomic unit grown in the area of the Municipality of Lovran, although it is not taxonomically specified, on the basis of the genetic diversity analysis conducted using 5 microsatellite markers, it can be said to include several different genotypes, or cultivars, one of which (MG01) is present at a much higher frequency than others.
Key words: Lovran marron, Castanea sativa Mill., genetic diversity, microsatellite markers, Croatia