Print version ISSN 0102-0536
SANTOS, Maria do Desterro M dos et al. Genetic diversity of tropical-adapted onion germplasm assessed by RAPD markers. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.1, pp. 112-118. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362012000100019.
Onion is a crop of significant socioeconomic importance to Brazil. Onion germplasm with adaptation to tropical and sub-tropical conditions has played an important role in the development of this crop in the country. In this context, we studied the genetic diversity in a germplasm collection potentially useful for the development of cultivars for tropical and subtropical regions. The genetic variability of 21 accessions/cultivars that have been used as germplasm and/or were developed by onion breeding programs in Brazil was evaluated via RAPD markers. The following accessions were included in the study :'Red Creole', 'Roxa IPA-3', 'Valenciana 14', 'Beta Cristal', 'Diamante', 'Composto IPA-6', 'Aurora', 'Bojuda Rio Grande', 'Alfa Tropical', 'Pêra IPA-4', 'Primavera', 'Belém IPA-9', 'Crioula Alto Vale', 'Conquista', 'Pira-Ouro', 'Vale-Ouro IPA-11', 'Franciscana IPA-10', 'Serrana', 'CNPH 6400', 'Petroline', and 'Baia Periforme'. From the 520 primers used in the initial screening only 38 displayed stable polymorphisms. They produced 624 amplicons, of which 522 (83.7%) were monomorphic and 102 (16.3%) were polymorphic. An average similarity coefficient of 0.72 was calculated among accessions based upon this subgroup of polymorphic amplicons. This allowed the discrimination of this germplasm collection into six groups with only one of them comprising more than one accession. The main group was formed by 16 accessions ('Diamante', 'Composto IPA-6', 'Aurora', 'Bojuda Rio Grande', 'Conquista', 'Pira-Ouro', 'Serrana', 'Vale-Ouro IPA-11', 'Baia Periforme', 'Primavera', 'Franciscana IPA-10', 'Belém IPA-9', 'Crioula Alto Vale', 'Petroline', 'Pêra IPA-4' and 'Alfa Tropical'), for which the genetic origin (with few exceptions) can be traced back to the variety 'Baia Periforme'. The populations 'Red Creole', 'Roxa IPA-3', 'Beta Cristal', 'CNPH 6400', and 'Valenciana 14' comprised a set of five isolated groups, showing genetic divergence among them and in relation to main 'Baia Periforme' group. This germplasm displayed a relatively low genetic diversity, with the predominance of materials originated from the base population 'Baia Periforme'. There are, however, some accessions, which can add genetic diversity to this germplasm and they can be exploited by onion breeding programs aiming to develop cultivars for tropical regions of the world.
Keywords : Allium cepa; molecular markers; plant breeding.