Genetic diversity, population structure, and resistance to Phytophthora capsici of a worldwide collection of eggplant germplasm.
Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous crop with high phenotypic diversity and moderate genotypic diversity. Ninety-nine genotypes of eggplant germplasm (species (S. melongena, S. incanum, S. linnaeanum and S. gilo), landraces and heirloom cultivars) from 32 countries and five continents were evaluated for genetic diversity, population structure, fruit shape, and disease resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot. Fruits from each line were measured for fruit shape and evaluated for resistance to two Phytophthora capsici isolates seven days post inoculation. Only one accession (PI 413784) was completely resistant to both isolates evaluated. Partial resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot was found in accessions from all four eggplant species evaluated in this study. Genetic diversity and population structure were assessed using 22 polymorphic simple sequence repeats (SSRs). The polymorphism information content (PIC) for the population was moderate (0.49) in the population. Genetic analyses using the program STRUCTURE indicated the existence of four genetic clusters within the eggplant collection. Population structure was detected when eggplant lines were grouped by species, continent of origin, country of origin, fruit shape and disease resistance.