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Study of genetic diversity in safflower genotypes using agro-morphological traits and RAPD markers

Amini, Fatemeh, Saeidi, Ghodratollah, Arzani, Ahmad
Euphytica 2008 v.163 no.1 pp. 21-30
Carthamus tinctorius, genetic variation, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, lines, landraces, genetic markers, cultivars, plant development, genotype, Iran
This research was conducted to study the genetic diversity in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) using agro-morphological traits and RAPD markers. Sixteen selected lines derived from landraces growing in various agro-climatic regions of Iran along with four exotic genotypes were evaluated in a randomized complete block design with three replications under field conditions. Days to emergence, days to initial flowering, days to flowering, days to maturity, plant height, branches per plant, capitula per plant, seeds per capitulum, 1,000-seed weight, seed yield per plant, seed yield, and reaction to powdery mildew (Leveillula taurica Arnaud) were evaluated in this study. Genetic diversity of the genotypes was assessed by RAPD markers. The results indicated significant differences among genotypes for the agro-morphological traits and clustering based on these traits classified the genotypes into five groups. Analysis of the RAPD markers revealed 15 polymorphic primers out of 50 used primers. Based on RAPD data, the highest genetic similarity was observed between the cultivars of “AC Sunset,” “AC Sterling” from Canada and the lowest relatedness observed between a local breeding line “E₂₄₂₈” and genotype “GE₆₂₉₂₃” from Germany. Cluster analysis based on RAPD markers and 54% coefficient of similarity divided the genotypes into five distinct groups. Comparing the clusters based on agro-morphological traits with those from molecular markers showed slight similarities. The finding of high genetic variation for agro-morphological traits and polymorphism at DNA level reveal that agronomic traits can be improved by selection programs.