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Determination of genetic diversity in tall fescue with AFLP markers

Rouf Mian, M.A., Hopkins, A.A., Zwonitzer, J.C.
Crop science 2002 v.42 no.3 pp. 944
agricultural programs and projects, breeding, Festuca arundinacea, genetic variation, cultivars, plant breeding, genotype, amplified fragment length polymorphism
Little information is available regarding genetic variation in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb). Such information is important in constructing mapping populations and targeting germplasm collection and utilization. The objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic diversity among a number of tall fescue accessions, cultivars, and selected genotypes. In one experiment, 16 persistent tall fescue plants (genotypes) were assayed by a fluorescence-labeled amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) detection method using DNA samples from individual plants. In a second experiment, AFLP diversity among 18 tall fescue populations, including sources of 'KY-31', cultivars derived from KY-31 and accessions collected from Oklahoma and Texas, was assessed by an infrared dye-labeling method using DNA samples bulked by each population. On the basis of 461 AFLP markers from six primer combinations, the 16 individual plants were clustered in groups that largely supported the known origins of these plants. On the basis of genetic divergence, several candidate parents were identified for constructing a mapping population. Analysis of bulked DNA samples revealed that sources of KY-31 and cultivars derived from KY-31 generally clustered separately from accessions collected in the southern Great Plains. Such accessions thus provide an additional source of genetic variation for tall fescue breeding programs.