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Morphological diversity of current melons (Cucumis melo) compared to a medieval type
Published November 15, 2007
84-90

Morphological diversity of melon (Cucumis melo); phenotype reconstruction of a medieval sample. Morphological diversity among 47 melon (Cucumis melo) cultivars and landraces from Hungarian germplasm collection (ABI, Tápiószele) were analyzed with an ultimate aim to characterize morphologically cv. Hógolyó, which showed the closest genetic s...imilarity to a medieval melon recovered from the 15th century. Cultivars based on fruit morphology were grouped into the three main types of melon as reticulatus, cantalupensis and inodorus. Cluster analysis (by SPSS-11) based on 23 morphological (quantitative and qualitative) traits recorded revealed an extreme diversity among accessions, nevertheless cultivars were clustered into main melon clusters with only two exceptions of inodorus type cv. Zimovka J. and Afghanistan. Cultivars Sweet ananas and Ezüst ananász; and  two Hungarian landraces Kisteleki and Nagycserkeszi showed close similarity. Cultivars Hógolyó and Túrkeve of inodorus type
were also grouped in one cluster, which provide insight into the morphological reconstruction of the medieval melon recovered from the 15th century. These results also indicate that old Hungarian landraces could be re-introduced into breeding programs for broadening genetic base of melon.

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Sequence stability at SSR, ISSR and mtDNA loci of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) from the middle ages
Published November 15, 2007
10-19

Seed remains of medieval millet, recovered from a 15th century layer (King’s Palace, Budapest, Hungary), showed reddish yellow grain color after rehydrating on tissue culture medium that was close to grain color of modern cultivar Omszkoje. aDNA of medieval c. millet was extracted successfully, analyzed and compared to modern common millets b...y ISSR, SSR, CAPS and mtDNA. Analyses of fragments and sequences revealed
polymorphism at seven ISSR loci (22 alleles) and at the 5S-18S rDNA locus of mtDNA. CAPS analysis of the 5S-18S rDNA fragment revealed no SNPs in the restriction sites of six endonucleases TaqI, BsuRI, HinfI, MboI, AluI and RsaI. Sequence alignments of the restriction fragments RsaI also revealed
consensus sequence in the medieval sample compared to a modern variety. Morphological characterization of twenty common millet (Panicum miliaceum L., 2n=4×=36) cultivars and landraces revealed four distinct clusters which were apparently consistent with the grain colors of black, black and brown, red, yellow, and white. In the comparative AFLP, SSR and mtDNA analysis modern millet cv. ‘Topáz’ was used. AFLP analysis revealed that extensive DNA degradation had occurred in the 4th CENT. ancient millet resulting in only 2 (1.2%) AFLP fragments (98.8% degradation),
compared to the 15th CENT. medieval millet with 158 (40%) fragments (60% degradation) and modern millet cv. ‘Topáz’ with 264 fragments (100%). Eight AFLP fragments were sequenced after reamplification and cloning. Microsatellite (SSR) analysis at the nuclear gln4, sh1, rps28 and rps15 loci of the medieval DNA revealed one SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) at the 29th position (A to G) of rps28 locus compared to modern millet.
Mitochondrial (mtDNA) fragment (MboI) amplified at the 5S-18S-rDNA locus in the medieval millet showed no molecular changes compared to modern millet. The results underline the significance of survived aDNA extraction and analysis of excavated seeds for comparative analysis and molecular reconstruction of ancient and extinct plant genotypes. An attempted phenotype reconstruction indicated that medieval common millet showed the closest morphological similarity to modern millet cultivar Omszkoje. 

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