Using RAPD Markers to Assess Genetic Diversity in Brassica Germplasm and Chinese Breeding Lines

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  • 1 1USDA/ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU), Cornell Univ., Geneva, NY 14456-0462
  • | 2 2Inst. of Vegetables and Flowers (IVF), CAAS, Beijing, 100081, China.

Molecular DNA markers based on the RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) assay are gaining use in germplasm assessment. RAPD markers are simple, relatively inexpensive, and highly informative. We used five primers to assess 26 Brassica oleracea breeding lines from the IVF and nine accessions from the PGRU. The test array included eight subspecies of B. oleracea. We generated 90 RAPD markers and were able to unambiguously discriminate among all 35 test entries, but could not separate subspecies within B. oleracea. Genetic similarity between subspecies ranged from 0.629 to 0.738. Average similarity within accessions was 0.96, confirming the suspected homogeneity of breeding lines. Nevertheless, significant genetic diversity was found among kohlrabi, broccoli, and cabbage accessions. Similarity analysis of breeding lines and hybrids confirmed their pedigree relationships. Interestingly, B. o. subsp. costata `Couve Nabica' showed closer similarity to B. napus subsp. oleifera `Jet Neuf' than to other B. o. materials and B. o. subsp. italica `Packman' showed higher similarity to some cabbages than to other broccolis. Results provide further evidence that diversity assessment using RAPDs is broadly applicable and useful in germplasm conservation and utilization.

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