RAPD analysis was employed to assess genetic variation in named cultivars of garlic (Allium sativum L.), and to examine the relationships between cultivated garlic varieties and the wild progenitor Allium longicuspis. Twenty-seven accessions were subjected to RAPD analysis using 26 oligonucleotide primers. Of a total of 292 bands, 63 (21%) were polymorphic. Cluster analysis revealed groupings that in part reflected patterns of morphological variation. All bolting forms (including wild and cultivated) grouped separately from the nonbolting cultivars. A. longicuspis and var. ophioscorodon grouped together, indicating close taxonomic affinity. Based upon relative levels of variation within different groups, we suggest potential relationships within the A. sativum/A. longicuspis complex.
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