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Hussam S.M. Khierallah, Saleh M. Bader, Michael Baum, and Alladin Hamwieh

Genetic diversity in 30 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars in Iraq representing 24 female and six male cultivars was investigated using 22 microsatellite [simple sequence repeat (SSR)] primers. The tested SSR markers showed a high level of polymorphism. A total of 188 alleles were detected at the 22 loci ranging from three to 21 with an average of 8.54 alleles per locus. The average of heterozygosity for all cultivars was 0.503; genetic distance among cultivars varied from 0.171 to 0.938 indicating diverse relationships. The cultivar Ghanami Akhder was highly divergent from ‘Ghnami Ahmer’, whereas ‘Jamal Al-Dean’ was very closely related to ‘Qitaz’. Unweighted pair group method arithmetic average ordered date palm cultivars into two main clusters. Principal coordinate analysis exhibited the similar clusters of cultivars as in the dendrogram.