Genetic diversity analysis of Kenyan taro [Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott] accessions using SSR markers
Akwee, Edome Peter
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Six SSR primer pairs were used to characterize 25 taro genotypes of Kenya. A total of 30 polymorphic alleles were generated. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 1 to 6 alleles, with an average of 3.0425 alleles across 18 loci obtained in the study. The polymorphic information content values ranged from 0.1875 to 0.5731 in all 18 loci with an average of 0.4120. Genetic diversity ranged from 0.25 to 0.6218. Genetic richness ranged between 1.5 and 4.67. The frequency of most common allele at each locus ranged from 51.21% to 75%. The pair wise genetic dissimilarity co-efficient indicated that the highest genetic distance was obtained between the Rift Valley and Nyanza taro germplasm populations (0.794). The closest allele similarity was between Western and Nyanza (83.1%) taro populations while the widest dissimilarity was between Rift Valley and Nyanza populations (45.2%). Being grouped into a distant cluster KK12 could be exploited as probable parental for the development of variant taro varieties. The SSR markers are comprehensive source for the identification of genetically distant taro accessions as well as in the replica sorting of the phenotypically close germplasm.