Economic Botany Review

Topics: Genetics, Evolution, Population genetics Pages: 1 (345 words) Published: February 4, 2013
Schluter P, Arenas M, Harris S. 2007. Genetic Variation in Vanilla planifolia (Orchidaceae). Economic Botany [internet]. [cited 2012 Oct 24]; 61(4): 328-336. Available from

The geographic structure within Vanilla planifolia (Orchidaceae), and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) genetic diversity was studied by Scientists: Schluter, Arenas, and Harris. These scientists proposed that there was a significantly higher genetic diversity due to the indigenous people moving cultivated plants north of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, to the south of the Volcanic Belt, where there were wild and wild-sourced cultivated plants. They also inquired as to if Vanilla planifolia reflected genetically defined groups. One of the first actions was to assess the DNA variation pattern in order to look at the species and the crop’s genetic threats. Another important factor was to discover breeding targets or genetic resource conservation. Finding this information proved difficult because of the long generation time, and infrequent sexual reproduction leaving them challenged without adaptive trait analysis. Schluter, Arenas, and Harris chose to use selectively neutral RAPD markers to estimate genetic variation in the investigation. These Scientists concluded that the pollen and fruit dispersal by Euglossine bees and bats, respectively, were the reason that hundreds of kilometers separated different genets, in the samples in Quintana Roo, Chiapas, and Oax-aca. They also concluded that the differences between geographic groups was not due to RAPD variation, but rather the individual differences. Genetically defined groups are not manifested in cultivar names used in V. planifolia. Cultivars “Mansa,” “Variegate” (“Aca-maya”), and “Oreja de Burro” do not form incontrovertibly defined groups. A self-incompatible cultivar, “Oreja de Burro,” costs a considerable amount to establish and maintain....
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