Projects archive

Investigation of Vaccinium genetic resources in Latvia
Leader: Agnese Gailīte
Start date: 1.8.2017
End date: 31.7.2020

European Regional Development Fund project (No. 1.1.1.2/VIAA/1/16/123).
Operational Programme "Growth and Employment".
Specific Aid Objective 1.1.1 "To increase the research and innovative capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and the ability to attract external financing, investing in human resources and infrastructure".
Activity 1.1.1.2 "Post-doctoral Research Aid".

   

Traditional genetic resources are conserved ex situ in gene banks, in field collections, or through cryopreservation. More recently, there is increasing emphasis on in situ conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) and wild harvested plants and the development of strategies to achieve this. Analysis of population structure and genetic diversity is important for development of conservation strategies. The most important CWR and wild harvested species in Latvia include forage grasses, medicinal and aromatic plants, as well as wild berries and fruits. Plants of the genus Vaccinium are used both as a breeding material for the production of new varieties (several varieties of lingonberry and Vaccinium ashei Reade have been created in Latvia), and they are also important as medicinal plants. However, this genus has not been studied in Latvia by molecular genetic methods. Cyanococcus species of the genus Vaccinium, which are not found in the wild in Latvia, are predominantly studied in the world.

The aim of this proposal is to determine the genetic differentiation and diversity of Vaccinium species – bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), bog bilberries (V. uliginosum L.) and cowberries (V. vitis-idaea L.). The main proposed activities are: selection and documentation of sites and populations for investigation, establishment of a DNA collection, DNA marker selection and determination of genetic diversity between and within populations. The obtained results will provide knowledge about population differentiation and genetic diversity and will be a useful source of information for development of a CWR conservation strategy.


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