Distinguishing Poinsettia Cultivars and Evaluating Their Genetic Relationships using DNA Fingerprinting

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  • 1 Dept. of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design, Inst. of Agriculture, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071

The objective was to distinguish between cultivars and evaluate genetic relatedness of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) using two methods of DNA fingerprinting—DNA Amplification Fingerprinting (DAF) and Arbitrary Signatures from Amplification Profiles (ASAP). Eleven red poinsettia cultivars were studied, including `Celebrate 2', `Darlyne', `Freedom Red', `Lilo', `Nutcracker Red', `Peterstar Red', `Petoy', `Red Sails', `Supjibi', `V-14 Glory', and `V-17 Angelika'. Amplification was with 10 octamer primers. Gels were visually scored for presence or absence of bands. The 10 primers generated 336 bands. The average number of bands (≈1000 bp) per primer was 34 ranging from 19 to 43. Thirty-one percent of bands were polymorphic and distinguished between each cultivar. The number of unique profiles varied from two to nine. Genetic relationships were evaluated by SAHN cluster analysis based on the distance estimator of Jaccard using the NTSYS-pc program (Numerical taxonomy and multivariate analysis system, version 1.8). The resulting dendrogram closely agreed with known pedigree data. ASAP analysis was used to further assess cultivar identification of two cultivars that were genetically and morphologically similar. Markers were found that separated `Nutcracker Red' and `Peterstar Red'. ASAP analysis separated cultivars within the Freedom series that DAF failed to distinguish. Two cultivars in the Freedom series, `Jingle Bells' and `Marble', were characterized from other cultivars in the series with ASAP.

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