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Molecular genetic diversity and association mapping of morphine content and agronomic traits in Turkish opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) germplasm
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As the sole plant source of many potent alkaloids, opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) is an important medicinal crop. Nevertheless, few studies have characterized opium poppy germplasm with crop-specific molecular markers. Because Turkey is a diversity center for opium poppy, Turkish germplasm is a valuable genetic resource for association mapping studies aimed at identifying QTLs controlling morphine content and agronomic traits. In this study, the morphological diversity and molecular diversity of 103 Turkish opium poppy landraces and 15 cultivars were analyzed. Potentially useful morphological variation was observed for morphine content, plant height, and capsule index. However, the landraces exhibited limited breeding potential for stigma number, and seed and straw yields. Both morphological and molecular analyses showed distinct clustering of cultivars and landraces. In addition, a total of 164 SSR and 367 AFLP polymorphic loci were applied to an opium poppy association mapping panel composed of 95 opium poppy landraces which were grown for two seasons. One SSR and three AFLP loci were found to be significantly associated with morphine content (P < 0.01 and LD value (r2) = 0.10–0.32), and six SSR and 14 AFLP loci were significantly associated with five agronomic traits (plant height, stigma number, capsule index, and seed and straw yields) (P < 0.01 and LD value (r2) = 0.08–0.35). This is the first report of association mapping in this crop. The identified markers provide initial information for marker-assisted selection of important traits in opium poppy breeding.