, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 225-238

The comparison of RFLP, RAPD, AFLP and SSR (microsatellite) markers for germplasm analysis

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The utility of RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism), RAPD (random-amplified polymorphic DNA), AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) and SSR (simple sequence repeat, microsatellite) markers in soybean germplasm analysis was determined by evaluating information content (expected heterozygosity), number of loci simultaneously analyzed per experiment (multiplex ratio) and effectiveness in assessing relationships between accessions. SSR markers have the highest expected heterozygosity (0.60), while AFLP markers have the highest effective multiplex ratio (19). A single parameter, defined as the marker index, which is the product of expected heterozygosity and multiplex ratio, may be used to evaluate overall utility of a marker system. A comparison of genetic similarity matrices revealed that, if the comparison involved both cultivated (Glycine max) and wild soybean (Glycine soja) accessions, estimates based on RFLPs, AFLPs and SSRs are highly correlated, indicating congruence between these assays. However, correlations of RAPD marker data with those obtained using other marker systems were lower. This is because RAPDs produce higher estimates of interspecific similarities. If the comparisons involvedG. max only, then overall correlations between marker systems are significantly lower. WithinG. max, RAPD and AFLP similarity estimates are more closely correlated than those involving other marker systems.