Genetic divergence of rubber tree estimated by multivariate techniques and microsatellite markers

Genetic diversity of 60 Hevea genotypes, consisting of Asiatic, Amazonian, African and IAC clones, and pertaining to the genetic breeding program of the Agronomic Institute (IAC), Brazil, was estimated. Analyses were based on phenotypic multivariate parameters and microsatellites. Five agronomic descriptors were employed in multivariate procedures, such as Standard Euclidian Distance, Tocher clustering and principal component analysis. Genetic variability among the genotypes was estimated with 68 selected polymorphic SSRs, by way of Modified Rogers Genetic Distance and UPGMA clustering. Structure software in a Bayesian approach was used in discriminating among groups. Genetic diversity was estimated through Nei's statistics. The genotypes were clustered into 12 groups according to the Tocher method, while the molecular analysis identified six groups. In the phenotypic and microsatellite analyses, the Amazonian and IAC genotypes were distributed in several groups, whereas the Asiatic were in only a few. Observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.05 to 0.96. Both high total diversity (H T' = 0.58) and high gene differentiation (Gst' = 0.61) were observed, and indicated high genetic variation among the 60 genotypes, which may be useful for breeding programs. The analyzed agronomic parameters and SSRs markers were effective in assessing genetic diversity among Hevea genotypes, besides proving to be useful for characterizing genetic variability.

genealogy; genetic diversity; Hevea brasiliensis; multivariate analysis; SSRs

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