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Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Four Iranian Alfalfa Populations Revealed by Sequence-Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP) Markers

Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology, September 2011, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 173-178.

Majid Talebi, Zahra Hajiahmadi, Mehdi Rahimmalek


In the present study, genetic diversity of 48 individual plants from four Iranian cultivated populations of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) was evaluated using sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. Fourteen SRAP primer combinations produced 193 fragments of which 95 were polymorphic. The number of polymorphic fragments detected per primer combination ranged from 3 to 10 bands with an average of 6.78 bands. Average polymorphic information content (PIC) was 0.343 for all primer combinations. Although the AMOVA (analysis of molecular variance) results showed a significant difference in the genetic diversity among the populations (P < 0.0001), the genetic variation mainly caused by the variation of intra population accounted for 93.17% of the total genetic variation. Unweighted pair-group method arithmetic average (UPGMA) analysis of the marker data clearly separated the populations of subtropical (Yazdi) and semi-cold (Hamadani and Nikshahri) as well as Kodi, an improved population. It can be concluded that SRAP markers are useful for studying diversity and relationships among and within alfalfa populations.


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