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Abstract

We used simple sequence repeat markers and 25 morphological characters to characterize 18 Tunisian fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars. Morphological traits suggested a high level of variation in the germplasm. Principal component analysis (PCA) differentiated the studied cultivars. In the derived dendrogram the cultivars clustered independently of their geographical origin and sex of trees. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to compare genetic polymorphism with the observed phenotypic variation. Using six microsatellite primers, 39 alleles and 59 genotypes were identified. The high values of polymorphism information content (PIC), ranging from 0.67 to 0.85, confirmed the effectiveness of microsatellite analysis for determining molecular polymorphism and characterizing the studied cultivars. Multilocus genotyping unambiguously distinguished all the cultivars. The ability of each type of feature to differentiate cultivars of this crop is discussed.
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