Genetic structure and differentiation in cultivated fig (Ficus carica L.)

Genetica. 2010 Jun;138(6):681-94. doi: 10.1007/s10709-010-9442-3. Epub 2010 Mar 10.


One hundred ninety-four germplasm accessions of fig representing the four fig types, Common, Smyrna, San Pedro, and Caprifig were analyzed for genetic diversity, structure, and differentiation using genetic polymorphism at 15 microsatellite loci. The collection showed considerable polymorphism with observed number of alleles per locus ranging from four for five different loci, MFC4, LMFC14, LMFC22, LMFC31 and LMFC35 to nine for LMFC30 with an average of 4.9 alleles per locus. Seven of the 15 loci included in the genetic structure analyses exhibited significant deviation from panmixia, of which two showed excess and five showed deficiency of heterozygote. The cluster analysis (CA) revealed ten groups with 32 instances of synonymy among cultivars and groups differed significantly for frequency and composition of alleles for different loci. The principal components analysis (PCA) confirmed the results of CA with some groups more differentiated than the others. Further, the model based Bayesian approach clustering suggested a subtle population structure with mixed ancestry for most figs. The gene diversity analysis indicated that much of the total variation is found within groups (H (G) /H (T) = 0.853; 85.3%) and the among groups within total component (G (GT) = 0.147) accounted for the remaining 14.7%, of which approximately 64% accounted for among groups within clusters (G (GC) = 0.094) and approximately 36% among clusters (G (CT) = 0.053). The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed approximately similar results with nearly 87% of variation within groups and approximately 10% among groups within clusters, and approximately 3% among clusters. Overall, the gene pool of cultivated fig analyzed possesses substantial genetic polymorphism but exhibits narrow differentiation. It is evident that fig accessions from Turkmenistan are somewhat genetically different from the rest of the Mediterranean and the Caucasus figs. The long history of domestication and cultivation with widespread dispersal of cultivars with many synonyms has resulted in a great deal of confusion in the identification and classification of cultivars in fig.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Ficus / classification
  • Ficus / genetics*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Phylogeny
  • Population Dynamics