MORPHO-AGRONOMIC AND GENETIC DIVERSITY AMONG TWELVE SICILIAN AGRO-ECOTYPES OF LENTIL (LENS CULINARIS)
P. Ruisi1, M. Longo1, F. Martinelli1, G. Di Miceli1, A. S. Frenda1, S. Saia1*, F. Carimi2, D. Giambalvo1 and G.Amato1
1 Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
2 Institute of Biosciences and BioResources, National Council of Research, Research Division Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
* Corresponding author Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Sicily is relatively small (about 25000 km2), it accounts for several agro-ecotypes of lentil (Lens culinarisMedik.), for many of which no data on morphological, agronomic, and organoleptic characteristics are available to date. Thus, experiments were performed to characterize 12 lentil agro-ecotypes from different areas of Sicily, including some small islands surrounding the main island, and to assess the extent of genetic diversity (by means of six inter-simple sequence repeat [ISSR] primers). A famous agro-ecotype from central Italy (CastellucciodiNorcia) and two commercial varieties from Canada (Eston and Laird) were also included in the study. The results showed a large degree of genetic diversity (based on ISSR markers) and variability in pheno-morphological and agronomic traits. In contrast, the intra-accession variability was on average rather low. The agronomic (productivity, nitrogen fixation capacity) and qualitative (lipid content, hydration coefficient) attributes of several Sicilian agro-ecotypes were more pronounced than those of the controls. This fact certainly represents a prerequisite for their future economic valorization. Moreover, the observed variability may be of interest from the point of view of breeding.
Keywords: Phenotypic diversity; Molecular markers; ISSR; Hydration coefficient; Nitrogen fixation.