SNP Diversity and Genetic Structure of “Rogosija”, an Old Western Balkan Durum Wheat Collection
Durum wheat landraces represent a genetic resource for the identification and isolation of new valuable genes and alleles, useful to increase the crop adaptability to climate change. Several durum wheat landraces, all denominated “Rogosija”, were extensively cultivated in the Western Balkan Peninsula until the first half of the 20th century. Within the conservation program of the Montenegro Plant Gene Bank, these landraces were collected, but without being characterized. The main goal of this study was to estimate the genetic diversity of the “Rogosija collection” consisting of 89 durum accessions, using 17 morphological descriptors and the 25K Illumina single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. The genetic structure analysis of the Rogosija collection showed two distinguished clusters localized in two different Montenegro eco-geographic micro-areas, characterized by continental Mediterranean climate and maritime Mediterranean climate. Data suggest that these clusters could be composed of two different Balkan durum landrace collections evolved in two different eco-geographic micro-areas. Moreover, the origin of Balkan durum landraces is discussed.