Journal Article

Genetic diversity and population structure in the tomato-like nightshades <i>Solanum lycopersicoides</i> and <i>S. sitiens</i>

Elena Albrecht, Miguel Escobar and Roger T. Chetelat

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 105, issue 4, pages 535-554
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Genetic diversity and population structure in the tomato-like nightshades Solanum lycopersicoides and S. sitiens

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Two closely related, wild tomato-like nightshade species, Solanum lycopersicoides and Solanum sitiens, inhabit a small area within the Atacama Desert region of Peru and Chile. Each species possesses unique traits, including abiotic and biotic stress tolerances, and can be hybridized with cultivated tomato. Conservation and utilization of these tomato relatives would benefit from an understanding of genetic diversity and relationships within and between populations.


Levels of genetic diversity and population genetic structure were investigated by genotyping representative accessions of each species with a set of simple sequence repeat (SSR) and allozyme markers.

Key Results

As expected for self-incompatible species, populations of S. lycopersicoides and S. sitiens were relatively diverse, but contained less diversity than the wild tomato Solanum chilense, a related allogamous species native to this region. Populations of S. lycopersicoides were slightly more diverse than populations of S. sitiens according to SSRs, but the opposite trend was found with allozymes. A higher coefficient of inbreeding was noted in S. sitiens. A pattern of isolation by distance was evident in both species, consistent with the highly fragmented nature of the populations in situ. The populations of each taxon showed strong geographical structure, with evidence for three major groups, corresponding to the northern, central and southern elements of their respective distributions.


This information should be useful for optimizing regeneration strategies, for sampling of the populations for genes of interest, and for guiding future in situ conservation efforts.

Keywords: Microsatellites; allozymes; biogeography; Solanum lycopersicoides; Solanum sitiens; Solanum chilense; genetic diversity; tomato; Solanum section Lycopersicoides

Journal Article.  12990 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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