U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Jimenez-Rojas M, Andueza Noh RH, Noh-Ake OI, Potter D, Ortiz-García MM, Arias RS, Martínez-Castillo J (2021). Genetic diversity of Huaya India (Melicoccus oliviformis Kunth), neglected Neotropical fruit crop. Scientia Horticulturae 290:15, 110535 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2021.110535


U.S. government work


Currently, some species of Sapindaceae are important fruit crops worldwide. The Huaya India (Meliccocus oliviformis, Sapindaceae) is a neglected Neotropical fruit tree consumed locally in the Maya Lowlands of Mexico, where it exists in both wild and domesticated forms. Our objective was to evaluate the genetic diversity of the Huaya India in its possible domestication area and thus generate knowledge that serves as the basis for a commercial management. A total of 450 individuals collected from 15 natural vegetation sites and 15 Maya villages, were characterized using nine microsatellite loci and population genetics approaches were applied. STRUCTURE, Neighbor-Joining and PCoA analyses suggested the existence of three main groups: 1) one composed by 14 natural vegetation sites, 2) one integrated by 10 Maya villages plus one natural vegetation site, 3) one composed by five Maya villages. At the species level, genetic differentiation was high (FST = 0.562) and gene flow was low (Nm = 0.395); between genetic groups, differentiation was low and gene flow was high. Genetic diversity was low at the level species (HE = 0.19) and higher in the group composed for only natural vegetation sites. When we considered only two groups (natural vegetation sites vs Maya villages) to explore a possible bottleneck as a consequence of human management, the natural vegetation sites showed higher, and significant, genetic diversity (HE = 0.231) than the Maya villages (HE = 0.152). This study can serve as a basis to develop management strategies for Huaya India in the Maya Lowlands of Mexico, but without compromising its conservation.

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