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Exploring the genetic diversity and population structure of scarlet eggplant germplasm from Rwanda through iPBS-retrotransposon markers

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Scarlet eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum gr. gilo) is a part of African indigenous vegetables and acknowledged as a source of variations in the breeding of Brinjal. Since its genetic diversity is still largely unexplored, therefore genetic diversity and population structure of this plant were investigated in this study.

Methods and results

Scarlet eggplant germplasm made of fifty-two accessions originated from two districts of Rwanda was assessed by employing the iPBS-retrotransposon markers system. Twelve most polymorphic primers were employed for molecular characterization and they yielded 329 total bands whereupon 85.03% were polymorphic. The recorded mean polymorphism information content was 0.363 and other diversity indices such as; mean the effective number of alleles, mean Shannon’s information index and gene diversity with the following values; 1.298, 0.300 and 0.187 respectively. A superior level of diversity was noticed among accessions from Musanze district. The model-based structure, neighbor-joining, and principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) gathered scarlet germplasm in a divergence manner to their collection district. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) displayed that the utmost variations (81%) in scarlet eggplant germplasm are resulting in differences within populations.


The extensive diversity of scarlet eggplant in Rwanda might be used to form the base and genetic resource of an exhaustive breeding program of this economically important African indigenous vegetable. For instance, accessions MZE53 and GKE11 might be proposed as parent candidates due to their high relative genetic distance (0.6781).

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Data availability

The datasets used for the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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We are thankful to Dr. Gökhan BAKTEMUR for his valuable support during field studies carried out at Cukurova University.


Authors are grateful to Cukurova University—Scientific Research Projects Coordinating Office for financial support (Project No: FDK-2020-13106).

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Correspondence to Faheem Shehzad Baloch.

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Shimira, F., Boyaci, H.F., Çilesiz, Y. et al. Exploring the genetic diversity and population structure of scarlet eggplant germplasm from Rwanda through iPBS-retrotransposon markers. Mol Biol Rep 48, 6323–6333 (2021).

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