The genetic diversity associated with seed proteins in a collection of Spanish underground vetches (Vicia sativa L. subsp. amphicarpa (Dorthes) Asch. et Graebn.)
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The characterization of plant genetic resources is the first step towards improving their use. The Spanish Plant Genetic Resources Centre, which belongs to the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Technology Research (CRF-INIA), conserves accessions of wild underground vetches collected in Spain. In the present work, 26 underground vetch accessions were characterized in terms of their seed storage proteins (separated by SDS-PAGE) as a means of assessing the genetic variation of these plants and their agronomic value. Vicia sativa cv. Vereda was used as control. A total of 54 bands were detected, of which 49 were polymorphic. Fifty eight different electrophoretic patterns were observed in total. Protein bands were scored in terms of their presence (1) or absence (0) for all the seeds studied, and two matrices constructed, one with all the bands present in each accession, the other with the different patterns for each accession. Dendrograms based on the Jaccard similarity index and the UPGMA clustering method were produced from these matrices, and the degree of genetic variation between and within accessions was calculated. The groups obtained were compared with the chromosome number for each accession. The results reflect the great diversity of underground vetch seed storage proteins. The aerial and underground seeds of 16 accessions were then analysed separately. In some cases, the aerial and underground flowers of the same plant produced different proteins. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.