Population genomics of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and links to environmental conditions, total phenolics, and antioxidant capacity in Newfoundland and Southern Labrador

Morales Gonzalez, Hugo Raziel (2017) Population genomics of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and links to environmental conditions, total phenolics, and antioxidant capacity in Newfoundland and Southern Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Lingonberry, also called Partridgeberry in Newfoundland (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) is native to Eurasia, Greenland, Iceland and North America. Partridgeberry is well known for its nutritional benefits, making it increasingly important for cultivation. While cultivation in Europe is widespread, it is only in developmental stages in North America. Knowledge of the genetic structure of wild populations, and its relationship with environmental conditions, phenolic content (TPC), and antioxidant capacity (AC) is necessary for the selection of desirable genotypes, but this knowledge is incomplete globally. Therefore, the genetic structure of 56 wild partridgeberry populations distributed across nine ecoregions of Newfoundland and Southern Labrador in Canada were investigated in the present experimental study. This thesis also evaluated the effects of environmental factors on the TPC and AC of partridgeberry leaves. By testing different variable levels, significantly higher TPC on leaves was found in individuals growing under elevated levels of surface water pH (>7). Significantly higher AC was found in individuals from the Central Newfoundland, North Shore Forest, and Maritime Barrens ecoregions and in individuals with low surface water pH (<6.6). AC was significantly lower for individuals with low sensitivity to acid rain (alkalinity of >200 μeq/L). Temperature and precipitation had no effect on TPC or AC. Contrary to expectations, no correlation between TPC and AC was found. Individuals formed three genetic groups, which showed some geographic structure according to ecoregion and temperature. Individuals collected in areas with the coldest mean annual and summer temperatures were clustered within one genetic group. As expected, geographically closer individuals were also genetically closer and contained similar quantities of TPC. However, I did not find any correlation between genetic distance and TPC or AC, suggesting that these desired biochemical traits for plant breeding programs are very much influenced by the environment. Future research should focus on the environmental effects I found over a longer period of time, under controlled field or greenhouse conditions, and the expression of genes in the phenyl-propanoid metabolism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12849
Item ID: 12849
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: antioxidant capacity, ecoregions, environmental factors, genetic distance, genotyping-bysequencing, phylogenetic tree, total phenolic content, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, lingonberry, partridgeberry
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: May 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Vaccinium vitis-idaea--Newfoundland and Labrador--Genome mapping; Vaccinium vitis-idaea--Newfoundland and Labrador--Geographical distribution--Climatic factors

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