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Genome classification of banana cultivars from South India using IRAP markers

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The banana cultivars are originated from the intra- and inter-specific hybridization of two wild diploid species, Musa acuminata Colla and Musa balbisiana Colla, contributing the A and B genomes, respectively. They are classified into genomic groups by scoring morphological features. Molecular markers provide a quick and reliable system of genome characterization and manipulation in breeding lines. In the present study a PCR based molecular marker specific for B genomes is been reported. The IRAP primer, designed based on the LTR sequence of banana Ty3-gypsy-like retroelement (Musa acuminata Monkey retrotransposon, AF 143332), was used to identify the B genome in the banana cultivars. Further a primer pair designed from B specific bands of Musa balbisiana `Pisang Gala' was used to classify AAB and ABB cultivars in the collection. Among the 36 cultivars tested with this primer, the B specific band was absent in the AA and AAA cultivars (except in one AAA and AAB cultivar) but present in all other AB, AAB and ABB cultivars. Among the triploid AAB/ABB, the PCR products with B specific primers showed restriction pattern polymorphism with AluI. In ABB genomes the band intensity was high whereas low intensity band observed in AAB genomes. Four cultivars reported to have the ABB genome showed a pattern similar to AAB, and one cultivar reported to have AAA genome showed a pattern similar to ABB genome, suggesting missampling or misidentification. The primers used in this study are useful to identify the presence of B genome in banana cultivars, and band intensity may be a preliminary indicator of ploidy level of the B genome but needs further studies with competitive PCR for clarification.

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Correspondence to Pat Heslop Harrison.

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Nair, A.S., Teo, C.H., Schwarzacher, T. et al. Genome classification of banana cultivars from South India using IRAP markers. Euphytica 144, 285–290 (2005).

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