This paper introduces a novel sampling method for obtaining core collections, entitled genetic distance sampling. The method incorporates information about distances between individual accessions into a random sampling procedure. A basic feature of the method is that automatically larger samples are obtained if accessions are further apart and smaller samples if accessions are closer together. Genetic distance sampling can be used in conjunction with predefined stratifications of the accessions. Sample sizes are determined automatically; they depend on the distances between accessions within strata. The method is applied to the collection of cultivated lettuce of the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands. In this paper, genetic distances between accessions are obtained using AFLP marker data. However, genetic distance sampling can be applied using any measure of genetic distance between accessions. Some properties of genetic distance sampling are discussed.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics (2007) 114 (3) 421-428 [doi: 10.1007/s00122-006-0433-9]