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Karen L. Burgher, Andrew R. Jamieson and Xuewen Lu

Twenty-six genotypes of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) representing four geographical zones (Maine, United States; New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia, and western Nova Scotia, Canada) were selected to obtain DNA fingerprints and to estimate genetic similarity by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. The genotypes were either native accessions or selections from crosses involving native accessions as parents or grandparents. Thirty 10-base RAPD primers were initially screened; 11 proved to be polymorphic, resulting in 73 consistent RAPD bands. All 26 genotypes could be distinguished by their unique RAPD banding patterns and three unlabeled samples were correctly identified. The RAPD band data set was analyzed with Genstat5 to calculate similarity and distance matrices. Average similarity across all genotypes was 56%. Results from average linkage cluster analysis were used to construct a dendogram which demonstrated six main clusters with an average similarity linkage of 70%. The selection `Fundy' and its parent `Augusta' clustered at 77% similarity. The corresponding principal coordinate analysis supported the clusters and identified two distinct outliers. There was a small association by geographic grouping for five genotypes from Maine. It was concluded that RAPD analysis is a useful tool for genotypic identification and estimates of genetic similarity in lowbush blueberry.