Restricted Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLPs) were investigated in closely and distantly related rose cultivars as means of identifying those cultivars for the purpose of patent protection. A random genomic DNA library was constructed using the cultivar `Confection' and the Escherichia Coli strain JM83 plasmid vector pUC8. Clones with interspersed repeat sequences were then identified by hybridizing restriction digested cloned DNA fragments with nick translated genomic DNA of the rose cultivar `Confection'. Hybridization positive clones were screened for polymorphism by Southern hybridization on restriction digested genomic DNA of various rose cultivars. About 75% of the interspersed repeat copy probes screened revealed polymorphisms. We have identified probes that give fingerprint patterns for rose cultivars. From this information, a dichotomous key which differentiates the rose cultivars examined was prepared. Current research involves screening more probes and rose cultivars for polymorphisms, and examining single copy probes for potential use in RFLP genetic linkage map construction in roses.
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