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Evaluation of genetic diversity in <i>Sulla coronaria</i> from different geographical populations in Tunisia by inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR)

Sonia Marghali
Nadia Zitouna
Maroua Gharbhi
Houda Chennaoui-Kourda
Neila Trifi-Farah


Five oligonucleotides generating 116 markers complementary to simple sequence repeats were used in order to characterize wild and cultivated ecotypes of Sulla coronaria and assess genetic diversity suitable in breeding programs. While analysing populations, a large genetic variability was revealed and supported by the preferentially allogamous mating system of the species. Moreover, the highest level of intra-population variations (Hpop/Hsp = 69.9) either of wild or cultivated accessions have been strongly evidenced by a significant adaptation to variety of habitats. In addition, the structure of populations was independent from the bioclimatic stages and was not affected by environmental factors as shown by the non correlation between the geographic and the Nei and Li’s genetic distances (r= 0.461 and p=0.068>0.05). The unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) genetic relationships showed that some local spontaneous accessions characterised by an orthotropic port (Jebel Zit and Beja) were also molecularly similar to other cultivars.

Key words: Sulla coronaria, wild and cultivated forms, intra and inter-populations variability, microsatellites (ISSRs), bioclimatic stages.