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Genetic Structure of Cultivated Varieties of Radicchio (Cichorium intybus L.): A Comparison between F1 Hybrids and Synthetics

Cichorium intybus L., well known in Italy by the common name Radicchio, is an important leafy vegetable that is prevalently reproduced by allogamy due to very efficient barriers of self-incompatibility. Marker-assisted breeding is widely used by seed firms to develop superior varieties that manifest genetic distinctiveness, uniformity, and stability. Here we used a total of 29 mapped microsatellite markers to genotype 504 samples of the Red of Chioggia biotype. Genetic similarity and diversity statistics were computed and the genetic structure of cultivated populations, including OP synthetics, F1 hybrids, and F2 progenies, was investigated. On the whole, this work provides tools and strategies to achieve the molecular characterization and genetic identification of Radicchio varieties.

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