Avocado (Persea americana) Mill represents one of the most consumed fruits around the world. This species has been differentiated into three main races Guatemalan, Mexican and West Indian according to several molecular markers. However, the interaction between genotypic and phenotypic traits of this crop is still unknown. For this reason, a landscape genetics analysis was made in 90 criollo trees from Northeast Colombia (Antioquia) with 14 microsatellites, sequencing of 3 nuclear loci, endo-1-4-D-glucanase (Cell), Chalcone synthase (CHS) and serine-threonine-kinase (STK) and 28 morphological traits. High genetic diversity was found suggesting a hybrid origin of criollo trees. Morphological variation showed intermixed racial features. FST = 0.03, p =0.001 (measured with microsatellites) suggested low genetic differentiation. According to STRUCTURE, K = 2 for both microsatellites and concatenated nuclear sequences. Criollo trees were assigned together with the Guatemalan and Mexican races. Pearson correlation was significant between expected heterozygocities and elevation. Mantel test was low (r2 = 0.0097, p = 0.015) but significant demonstrating isolation by distance. Grafting is suitable between criollo trees and Hass variety is possible since both avocados are produced within the same altitudes.
Part of the book: Vegetation Index and Dynamics