DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF) was used to study genetic relationships between closely related chrysanthemum cultivars (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev.). Twenty-one cultivars were examined that belonged to the Anne, Blush, Boaldi, Charm, Davis, and Pomona series (families). The genetic variability of cultivars within and between series was evaluated using eleven arbitrary octamer primers. A few polymorphic characters uniquely identified closely related cultivars within each of the series. In contrast, many DNA polymorphisms were observed between members of the different series. Phenetic patterns were established by unweighted pair group cluster analysis using arithmetic means (UPGMA) and principal coordinate analysis (PCO). The average distance between series was 10-fold greater than between cultivars within a series. DNA from all cultivars belonging to a series were also bulked to generate profiles containing unique amplified products for each series. Cluster analysis and PCO of bulked DNA clearly grouped Charm and Pomona together. However, series grouping did not correspond to morphology of inflorescence types. The results demonstrate the utility of the DAF technique in distinguishing clonal materials and its potential use for patent protection, phylogenetic studies, and for identifying useful markers in breeding applications.
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