African Journal of Biotechnology

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Assessment of genetic diversity for some Iraqi date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) markers

H Khierallah, S Bader, M Baum, A Hamwieh


Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) were used to evaluate the genetic diversity between 18 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties (11 females and 7 males) collected from the center of Iraq. Six primer pairs were applied to detect polymorphism between varieties. A total of 83 polymorphic AFLP fragments were detected with an average of 13.8 polymorphic fragments/primer combination. Genetic distance was estimated using Jaccard’s genetic similarity index and was ranged from 0.07 to 0.75. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean UPGMA ordered date palm varieties into two main clusters independently of their origin and sex. The first cluster consisted of three sub-clusters. The first one consisted of five female varieties and one male, while the second sub-clusters consisted of five male varieties. The third one consisted of five varieties; four were females and one male. The second main cluster consisted of the remaining two female varieties. Moreover, all primer combinations contributed to the discrimination of date palm varieties, suggesting the efficiency of AFLP method in assessing genetic diversity in date palm. A large range of genetic diversity characterized Iraqi date palm germplasm.

Key words: Genetic diversity, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) polymorphisms, molecular characterization, Phoenix dactylifera L.
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