Genetic diversity and population structure of a Camelina sativa spring panel

Zinan Luo, Jordan Brock, John M. Dyer, Toni Kutchan, Daniel Schachtman, Megan Augustin, Yufeng Ge, Noah Fahlgren, Hussein Abdel-Haleem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


There is a need to explore renewable alternatives (e.g., biofuels) that can produce energy sources to help reduce the reliance on fossil oils. In addition, the consumption of fossil oils adversely affects the environment and human health via the generation of waste water, greenhouse gases, and waste solids. Camelina sativa, originated from southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, is being re-embraced as an industrial oilseed crop due to its high seed oil content (36–47%) and high unsaturated fatty acid composition (>90%), which are suitable for jet fuel, biodiesel, high-value lubricants and animal feed. C. sativa’s agronomic advantages include short time to maturation, low water and nutrient requirements, adaptability to adverse environmental conditions and resistance to common pests and pathogens. These characteristics make it an ideal crop for sustainable agricultural systems and regions of marginal land. However, the lack of genetic and genomic resources has slowed the enhancement of this emerging oilseed crop and exploration of its full agronomic and breeding potential. Here, a core of 213 spring C. sativa accessions was collected and genotyped. The genotypic data was used to characterize genetic diversity and population structure to infer how natural selection and plant breeding may have affected the formation and differentiation within the C. sativa natural populations, and how the genetic diversity of this species can be used in future breeding efforts. A total of 6,192 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) value of 0.29 indicate moderate genetic diversity for the C. sativa spring panel evaluated in this report. Population structure and principal coordinates analyses (PCoA) based on SNPs revealed two distinct subpopulations. Sub-population 1 (POP1) contains accessions that mainly originated from Germany while the majority of POP2 accessions (>75%) were collected from Eastern Europe. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) identified 4% variance among and 96% variance within subpopulations, indicating a high gene exchange (or low genetic differentiation) between the two subpopulations. These findings provide important information for future allele/gene identification using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and marker-assisted selection (MAS) to enhance genetic gain in C. sativa breeding programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019


  • Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA)
  • Camelina sativa
  • Genetic diversity
  • Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)
  • Population structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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