Genetic differences among eleven cultivated and eight wild-type populations of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.) and four cultivated populations of South Korean ginseng (P. ginseng C.A. Meyer) were estimated using RAPD markers. Cultivated P. ginseng population samples were collected from four regions of S. Korea. Cultivated P. quinquefolium population samples were collected from three regions in North America: Wisconsin, the Southeastern Appalachian region of the United States, and Canada. Wild-type P. quinquefolium was collected from three states in the United States: Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Evaluation of germplasm with 10 decamer primers resulted in 100 polymorphic bands. Genetic differences among populations indicate heterogeneity. The genetic distance among individuals was estimated using the ratio of discordant bands to total bands scored. Multidimensional scaling of the relationship matrix showed independent clusters corresponding to the distinction of species, geographical region, and wild versus cultivated types. The integrity of the clusters was confirmed using pooled chi-square tests for fragment homogeneity.
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