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1.  Population structure of Cynara cardunculus complex and the origin of the conspecific crops artichoke and cardoon 
Annals of Botany  2013;112(5):855-865.
Background and Aims
Globe artichoke and leafy cardoon, two crops within the same species Cynara cardunculus, are traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean region and play a significant role in the agricultural economy of this area. The two cultigens have different reproductive systems: artichoke is generally vegetatively propagated, while leafy cardoon is seed propagated. The domestication events underlying the origin of both artichoke and cultivated cardoon from their wild relative and the area of occurrence are not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate population structure in wild cardoon, globe artichoke and leafy cardoon material and infer domestication events.
Methods
Thirty-five microsatellite (simple sequence repeat) markers, distributed in the C. cardunculus genome, and a large geographical and numerical sampling in southern Europe and North Africa were used to assess population structure and diversity.
Key Results
The results suggest the presence of two distinct domestication events for artichoke and leafy cardoon, and also suggest a new possible scenario, with western wild cardoon having originated from cultivated cardoon escaped from cultivation. Evidence was found for a demographic bottleneck in the past history of globe artichoke.
Conclusions
The results shed new light on the relationships between the three taxa of C. cardunculus and highlight relevant aspects on the evolution of domestication of two crops with a different reproductive system within the same species. It is proposed that the probable centre of origin of artichoke is located in southern Italy, probably Sicily.
doi:10.1093/aob/mct150
PMCID: PMC3747803  PMID: 23877076
Cynara cardunculus; SSR markers; population structure; multiple domestication events; clonal propagation; bottleneck; reproductive system
2.  Comparative mapping in the Fagaceae and beyond with EST-SSRs 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:153.
Background
Genetic markers and linkage mapping are basic prerequisites for comparative genetic analyses, QTL detection and map-based cloning. A large number of mapping populations have been developed for oak, but few gene-based markers are available for constructing integrated genetic linkage maps and comparing gene order and QTL location across related species.
Results
We developed a set of 573 expressed sequence tag-derived simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) and located 397 markers (EST-SSRs and genomic SSRs) on the 12 oak chromosomes (2n = 2x = 24) on the basis of Mendelian segregation patterns in 5 full-sib mapping pedigrees of two species: Quercus robur (pedunculate oak) and Quercus petraea (sessile oak). Consensus maps for the two species were constructed and aligned. They showed a high degree of macrosynteny between these two sympatric European oaks. We assessed the transferability of EST-SSRs to other Fagaceae genera and a subset of these markers was mapped in Castanea sativa, the European chestnut. Reasonably high levels of macrosynteny were observed between oak and chestnut. We also obtained diversity statistics for a subset of EST-SSRs, to support further population genetic analyses with gene-based markers. Finally, based on the orthologous relationships between the oak, Arabidopsis, grape, poplar, Medicago, and soybean genomes and the paralogous relationships between the 12 oak chromosomes, we propose an evolutionary scenario of the 12 oak chromosomes from the eudicot ancestral karyotype.
Conclusions
This study provides map locations for a large set of EST-SSRs in two oak species of recognized biological importance in natural ecosystems. This first step toward the construction of a gene-based linkage map will facilitate the assignment of future genome scaffolds to pseudo-chromosomes. This study also provides an indication of the potential utility of new gene-based markers for population genetics and comparative mapping within and beyond the Fagaceae.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-153
PMCID: PMC3493355  PMID: 22931513

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