Allozyme Variation in Domesticated Annual Sunflower and Its Wild Relatives

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Cronn, Richard
Brothers, M.
Klier, Kay
Bretting, P.
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Wendel, Jonathan
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The Botany Graduate Program offers work for the degrees Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy with a graduate major in Botany, and minor work for students majoring in other departments or graduate programs. Within the Botany Graduate Major, one of the following areas of specialization may be designated: aquatic and wetland ecology, cytology, ecology, morphology, mycology, physiology and molecular biology, or systematics and evolution. Relevant graduate courses that may be counted toward completion of these degrees are offered by the Departments of EEOB and GDCB, and by other departments and programs. The specific requirements for each student’s course distribution and research activities are set by the Program of Study Committee established for each student individually, and must satisfy all requirements of the Graduate College (See Index). GRE (and if necessary, TOEFL) scores are required of all applicants; students are encouraged to contact faculty prior to application.
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The annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is a morphologically and genetically variable species composed of wild, weedy, and domesticated forms that are used for ornament, oilseed, and edible seeds. In this study, we evaluated genetic variation in 146 germplasm accessions of wild and domesticated sunflowers using allozyme analysis. Results from this survey showed that wild sunflower exhibits geographically structured genetic variation, as samples from the Great Plains region of the central United States were genetically divergent from accessions from California and the southwestern United States. Sunflower populations from the Great Plains harbored greater allelic diversity than did wild sunflower from the western United States. Comparison of genetic variability in wild and domesticated sunflower by principal coordinate analysis showed these groups to be genetically divergent, in large part due to differences in the frequency of common alleles. Neighbor-Joining analyses of domesticated H. annuus, wild H. annuus and two closely related wild species (H. argophyllus T. & G. and H. petiolaris Nutt.) showed that domesticated sunflowers form a genetically coherent group and that wild sunflowers from the Great Plains may include the most likely progenitor of domesticated sunflowers.


This article is from Theoretical and Applied Genetics 95 (1997): 532, doi:10.1007/s001220050594.