Morphological descriptors and micro satellite diversity among scarlet eggplant groups
<i>Solanum aethiopicum</i> L. groups is an important leaf and fruit vegetable, largely consumed in sub Saharan Africa. Genetic variation pattern among 35 accessions belonging to S. aethiopicum groups and sources of donor parents were investigated using morphological descriptors and SSR marker pairs. The Principal Component analysis showed great variations among accessions in terms of morphological traits. Leaf surface prickles, prickles underneath the leaves and fruit calyx pigmentation showed high discriminatory ability. Diversity analysis inferred distinctness, similarities and overlap among groups. The Kumba and Aculeatum groups are related for multilocular characteristic of the fruits. The Nei’s coefficients for morphological descriptors and SSR data indicated that S. aethiopicum groups showed a wide genetic base. MM1102 and MM457 showed high relatedness for pubescence and moderate prickles. These traits are useful during selection and intellectual right. The Kumba and Shum groups are morphologically and genotypically related. Inter-cluster hybridisation among clusters 2 and 3 may evolve new population for fruit colour. Based on SSR data, MM01160, MM1102, MM381, MM01108 are genetically related. The dispersion and grouping of accessions displayed aggregation of accessions from different geographical locations and group heterogeneity. Both morphological traits and SSR marker pairs sufficiently
discriminated accessions belonging to S. aethiopicum groups and the outcome will be useful for conservation and genetic improvement in this specie.
Key Words: Fruit colour, genetic diversity, Solanum aethiopicum