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Data from: Population structure, relatedness and ploidy levels in an apple gene bank revealed through genotyping-by-sequencing


Larsen, Bjarne et al. (2019), Data from: Population structure, relatedness and ploidy levels in an apple gene bank revealed through genotyping-by-sequencing, Dryad, Dataset,


In recent years, new genome-wide marker systems have provided highly informative alternatives to low density marker systems for evaluating plant populations. To date, most apple germplasm collections have been genotyped using low-density markers such as simple sequence repeats (SSRs), whereas only a few have been explored using high-density genome-wide marker information. We explored the genetic diversity of the Pometum gene bank collection (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) of 349 apple accessions using over 15,000 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 15 SSR markers, in order to compare the strength of the two approaches for describing population structure. We found that 119 accessions shared a clonal relationship with at least one other accession in the collection, resulting in the identification of 272 (78%) unique accessions. Of these unique accessions, over half (52%) share a first-degree relationship with at least one other accession. There is therefore a high degree of clonal and family relatedness in the Danish apple gene bank. We find significant genetic differentiation between Malus domestica and its supposed primary wild ancestor, M. sieversii, as well as between accessions of Danish origin and all others. Overall, we found strong concordance between analyses based on the genome-wide SNPs and the 15 SSR loci. However, we argue that GBS is superior to traditional SSR approaches because it allowed the estimation of ploidy levels that were in accordance with flow cytometry results, and can be further exploited in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Finally, we compare GBS with SSR for the purposes of characterizing a diverse apple gene bank and discuss the advantages and constraints of the two approaches.

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Northern Europe