Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to discriminate among 16 commercial cultivars of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata Group). A set of 18 decamer primers was selected from 100 random sequences and used to characterize cultivars and to evaluate distances. The selected primers produced 105 (54%) polymorphic bands ranging in size from 100 and 2500 base pairs, out of a total of 195 bands, which allowed for discrimination of all cultivars. Similarity indices between cultivars were computed from RAPD data, and ranged from 0.72 to 0.87 with an average of 0.82. Unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA) cluster analysis revealed two groups, one formed by two cultivars recommended for summer cropping, and the other by 14 cultivars. This large group was additionally divided into two subgroups. RAPD analysis provides a quick and reliable alternative for the identification of cabbage cultivars and for determination of the relationships among them.
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