Genetic Relationships of Spathiphyllum Cultivars Analyzed by AFLP Markers

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  • 1 1University of Florida, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka, FL, 32703
  • | 2 2University of California-Riverside, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, Riverside, CA, 92521

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum Schott) is one of the most popular tropical ornamental foliage plants and is used worldwide for interiorscaping. However, little information is available on the genetic relationships of cultivars. Using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers with near-infrared fluorescence-labeled primers, this study analyzed genetic relatedness of 63 commercial cultivars and breeding lines. Forty-eight EcoRI + 2/MseI + 3 primer set combinations were initially screened, from which six primer sets were selected and used in this investigation. All cultivars were clearly differentiated by their AFLP fingerprints, and the relationships were analyzed using the unweighted pair-group method of arithmetic average cluster analysis (UPGMA). The 63 cultivars were divided into four clusters. All commercial cultivars or breeding lines resulted from crosses of some of the cultivars, a total of 45, were positioned in cluster I with Jaccard's similarity coefficients between 0.61 and 0.88. There was only one cultivar in cluster II. Cluster III contained 16 cultivars; they are either species or breeding lines generated from interspecific hybridization. Cluster IV had one unknown species. This study provides genetic evidence as to why cultivars from cluster I and III are not readily crossable because the Jaccard's similarity coefficient between the two clusters was only 0.35. Results also indicate that commercial cultivars are genetically close. Strategies for increasing genetic diversity of cultivated peace lily should be sought for future breeding efforts.

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