Genetic diversity of wild coffee (Coffea arabica L.) using molecular markers
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Genetic diversity was studied using RAPD markers among119 coffee (Coffea arabica L.) individuals representing 88 accessions derived from spontaneous and subspontaneous trees in Ethiopia, the primary centre of species diversity, six cultivars grown locally in Ethiopia, and two accessions derived from the genetic populations Typica and Bourbon, spread in the 18th century, which gave rise to the most currently grown cultivars. Twenty-nine polymorphic fragments were used to calculate a similarity index and construct dendrograms. The Ethiopian material was separated from the Typica- and Bourbon-derived accessions and classified in four groups: one with most of the collected material from southwestern Ethiopia and three from southern and southeastern Ethiopia. Almost all detected diversity was found in the southwestern group while the southern and southeastern groups presented only 59% of identified markers. The genetic distances were low between the southwestern group and the southern and southeastern groups, and between the southwestern group and the Typica- and Bourbon-derived accessions. The cultivated coffee derived from the genetic populations Typica and Bourbon appeared little differentiated from wild coffee growing in the southwest. The results supported the hypothesis that southwestern Ethiopian coffee trees could have been introduced recently in the south and southeast. A separate analysis of the 80accessions classified in the southwestern group allowed identifying particular spontaneous- and subspontaneous-derived accessions and redundancies in the collected material from southwestern Ethiopia. RAPD markers did not detect any within-collection polymorphism except for two trees that were identified as off-types in the CATIE field genebank.
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