Genetic Diversity among Witchhazel Cultivars Based on Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Markers

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Forty selections, including 37 cultivars of Hamamelis spp., were evaluated for genetic similarities using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Cluster analysis identified seven groups, which included three groups of H. ×intermedia cultivars, two groups of H. vernalis, and one group each of H. mollis and H. japonica. Three H. ×intermedia cultivars, `Arnold Promise', `Westerstede', and `Carmine Red', did not group closely with the other 20 cultivars of H. ×intermedia. Selections of the North American species H. vernalis were quite distinct from the Asiatic selections. However, data are presented that suggest hybridization exist between Asiatic Hamamelis spp. and H. vernalis. Genetic similarities between known half-sib families provides evidence that the cultivar pairs `Arnold Promise'—`Winter Beauty' and `Carmine Red'—`Hiltingbury' are, themselves, not likely half-sibs.

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