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  • Author or Editor: Agnes Alajo x
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The genetic relationships among 192 superior, high–yielding, and disease-resistant sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] accessions from the Ugandan germplasm collection were analyzed using 10 fluorescent labeled simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Relatedness among the genotypes was estimated using the Nei and Li genetic distance coefficient, cluster analysis and principle component analysis methods of NTSYS-pc software. The polymorphic information content of the SSR markers used in this study ranged from 0.23 to 0.76 for loci IB-S07 and IB-R12, respectively, with a mean value of 0.62. The number of polymorphic alleles detected per locus ranged from two to six with a mean of four, a confirmation of the effectiveness of microsatellite detection on an automated ABI 3730 sequencer. The mean pairwise genetic distance among the 192 genotypes was 0.57, an indication of moderately high genetic diversity. Cluster analysis divided the accessions into four major groups with no relationship to the district of origin. Two sets of duplicates were identified through SSR genotyping in this study. Up to 190 distinct accessions for use as potential parental genotypes in hybridization schemes for cultivar development in the region were identified.

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Genetic diversity is critical in sweetpotato improvement as it is the source of genes for desired genetic gains. Knowledge of the level of genetic diversity in a segregating family contributes to our understanding of the genetic diversity present in crosses and helps breeders to make selections for population improvement and cultivar release. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers have become widely used markers for diversity and linkage analysis in plants. In this study, we screened 405 sweetpotato SSR markers for polymorphism on the parents and progeny of a biparental cross of New Kawogo × Beauregard cultivars. Thereafter, we used the informative markers to analyze the diversity in this population. A total of 250 markers were polymorphic on the parents and selected progeny; of these, 133 were informative and used for diversity analysis. The polymorphic information content (PIC) values of the 133 markers ranged from 0.1 to 0.9 with an average of 0.7, an indication of high level of informativeness. The pairwise genetic distances among the progeny and parents ranged from 0.2 to 0.9, and they were grouped into five main clusters. The 133 SSR primers were informative and are recommended for use in sweetpotato diversity and linkage analysis.

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