Marta Leonor Marulanda and Ana María López

Keywords: Rubus glaucus, thornless blackberry, Castillo blackberry, genetic characterization, Colombia

Abstract: High phenotypical plasticity has been identified within the species Rubus glaucus Benth, commonly known as ‘mora de castilla’ or Castilla blackberry, in Colombia’s coffee-growing area using AFLP molecular markers as well as morphological characters. Thornless plants have been observed among the blackberry materials grown. These plants present the same characteristics of productivity as thorny varieties are widely distributed. A first approximation to the genetic relationship between thorny and thornless materials indicated that thornless blackberry could possibly originate from the departments of Risaralda or Quindío. This work focuses on identifying the genetic and morpho-agronomic differences in thornless R. glaucus materials found in the coffee-growing region, especially in the department of Risaralda. Materials were collected from five different locations: two in the department of Risaralda, one in the department of Caldas, and two in the department of Quindío. For the morpho-agronomic characterization, 40 farmers were selected in the municipalities of Santa Rosa de Cabal and Guática, Risaralda, each farmer planting 50 plants from each of the five different collection sites, which had been multiplied in vitro, as well as 50 plants of thornless blackberry propagated by farmers, totaling 12,000 plants. Eight microsatellite (SSR) sequences were used to study 23 regional accessions of Rubus, including thorny and thornless R. glaucus, both cultivated and wild. Genetic and molecular differences were observed between thornless blackberry materials of different origins

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