Seed of five species of petunia and 10 cultivars of Petunia xhybrida were obtained from several sources and plants were fingerprinted using DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF). Within some species, variable fingerprints were generated between individual plants from the same seed source and/or different sources. Consistencies were found among DAF profiles by bulking the leaf tissue from 10 different plants, but not five plants. Each of 10 octamer primers used during the study revealed polymorphic loci between the species and cultivars. Among the 201 bands produced, 146 (73%) loci were polymorphic and these could be used to distinguish between each of the species and cultivars. Scoring for presence and absence of the amplified bands was used to generate a phylogenetic tree and to calculate the pairwise distances between each of the taxa using parsimony (PAUP) analysis. The tree generated using DAF molecular markers separated P. axillaris from P. parodii (two white-flowered species), and distinguished between the violet-flowered species, P, inflata, P. integrifolia, and P. violacea.
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