Characterization of genetic structure of alfalfa (Medicago sp.) from trans-Himalaya using RAPD and ISSR markers
Twenty five (25) accessions of Lucerne (Medicago sp.) collected from Leh valley of trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) were analyzed using inter simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). The results of this study revealed that the level of genetic variation in the collected Medicago ecotypes were relatively high (P=96.54%, I=0.430, Ht=0.285). RAPD fingerprinting detected more polymorphic loci (97.96%) than ISSR fingerprinting (95.12%). Clustering of genotypes within groups was not similar when RAPD and ISSR derived dendrogram were compared, whereas the pattern of clustering of the genotypes remained more or less the same in RAPD and combined data of RAPD + ISSR. The mean coefficient of differentiation (Gst) was 0.0584 indicating 30.23% of the genetic diversity within the populations. The overall value of mean estimated number of gene flow (Nm = 8.0682) revealed large gene exchanges among populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that the distribution of genetic diversity was 49% among populations and 51% within populations. The plant is capable of reproducing by self-sowing, thus can influence population genetic structure. The pronounced genetic variation tells us that Medicago species is a proper plant for genetic research and that there is great potential of breeding this species for improved forage varieties.
Key words: Genetic variation, ISSR, RAPD, Medicago species, population structure.