Analysis of the genetic diversity among mandarins (Citrus spp.) using RAPD markers
RAPD markers were used to evaluate genetic similarity among 35 mandarin accessions, including 10 species and 7 hybrids. One octamer and twenty-two decamer primers produced 109 RAPDs, 45 of which were polymorphic. Jaccard coefficient was used to calculate genetic similarity, and UPGMA to generate the phenogram. The RAPDs obtained were sufficient to generate some accession-specific markers, and to separate these accessions by clustering them into several groups, many of them according to Tanaka's or Webber's systematic units. The genetic similarity within the mandarin group is high (GJ = 0.77), and suggests that cultivated mandarins have a narrow genetic base. The genetic similarity of mandarins to other true citrus species (Citron [C. medica L.] and Pummelo [C. grandis Osbeck]) was much lower (minimum GJ = 0.27). We propose that the mandarin group is a single species, C. reticulata Blanco, composed of several genetically different individuals and a great number of hybrids, rather than a large number of species as proposed by some taxonomic studies.
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