Genetic diversity among Jatropha species as revealed by RAPD markers
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The genus Jatropha is native of tropical America with more than 200 species that are widely distributed in tropics with a promise for use as an oil crop for biodiesel. This investigation was carried out to assess the genetic diversity of 12 Jatropha species based on random amplified polymorphic DNA markers. From 26 random primers used, 18 primers gave reproducible amplification banding patterns of 112 polymorphic bands out of 134 bands scored accounting for 80.2% polymorphism across the genotypes. Three primers viz., OPA 4, OPF 11, and OPD 14 generated 100% polymorphic patterns. The polymorphic information content was highest for the primer OPD 14 (0.50) followed by the primers OPF 11 and OPAD 11 (0.48). Jaccard’s coefficient of similarity varied from 0.00 to 0.85, indicative of high level of genetic variation among the genotypes studied. UPGMA cluster analysis indicated three distinct clusters, one comprising all accessions of J. curcas L., while second included six species viz., J. ramanadensis Ramam., J. gossypiifolia L., J. podagrica Hook., J. tanjorensis J. L. Ellis et Saroja J. villosa Wight and J. integerrima Jacq. J. glandulifera Roxb. remained distinct and formed third cluster indicating its higher genetic distinctness from other species. The overall grouping pattern of clustering corresponds well with principal component analysis confirming patterns of genetic diversity observed among the species. The result provides valid guidelines for collection, conservation and characterization of Jatropha genetic resources.