Genetic variation in Coffea canephora L. (Var. Robusta) accessions from the founder gene pool evaluated with ISSR and RAPD

  • P Tshilenge
  • KK Nkongolo
  • M Mehes
  • A Kalonji
Keywords: ISSR, RAPD, genetic variability, Coffea canephora, coffee, Congo.


Discovered in Congo in 1898, Coffea canefora var. robusta accounts for 25 to 40% of the coffee grown in the world. Most genetic diversity of robusta coffee accessions conserved in ex situ collections has
been estimated from morphological characteristics. There are limited studies on genetic variability and diversity in C. robusta. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and random amplified polymorphic DNA
(RAPD) markers were used to assess the level of genetic variability among robusta coffee accessions from the founder gene pool in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The present study clearly
established the high variability in the Congolese genepool. RAPD primers detected a higher level of polymorphic loci (95%) than ISSR markers (52%). Each accession could be genotyped using RAPD
markers and both markers were efficient in revealing the genetic variability. Jaccard’s similarity coefficients generated to determine the genetic distances among accessions, revealed that most of the
accessions were genetically distant from each other. The accessions tested represent useful genetic materials for breeding for resistance to tracheomycose and other traits in DRC.

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eISSN: 1684-5315