Inferring mating system parameters in forage peanut, Arachis pintoi, for Brazilian Amazon conditions
ABSTRACT The search for alternatives to increase productivity and sustainability of livestock production in the Amazon region without increasing deforestation is challenging. Mixed pastures of grasses with forage peanut (Arachis pintoi) have shown positive economic impacts. However, gaps in the knowledge of the reproductive biology of A. pintoi have limited the development of new cultivars adapted to the environmental variations in the Brazilian Amazon. Pasture consortiums of Brachiaria humidicola with forage peanuts (cv. Mandobi) resulted in a 42% increase in weight gain productivity. New cultivars better adapted to the Amazon climate should bring even greater gains. We evaluated the mating system in twenty A. pintoi accessions, and approximately 40 offspring per accession genotyped with eight microsatellites (or markers). The parameters of genetic diversity and inbreeding, the outcrossing rate and coancestry were calculated. The observed heterozygosity was significantly higher and the fixation index was significantly lower in adults compared with the offspring. The crossing rate was variable among genotypes (2 to 80%), and the mean outcrossing rate was 36%. These results indicate that pollinator presence in pastures can influence gene flow in A. pintoi more than expected. Arachis pintoi presented a mixed mating system with a predominance of selfing, and families presented inbreeding and different levels of relatedness. New strategies of genotype conservation are needed to avoid pollinator-mediated crossing between accessions.