Levels and distribution of genetic diversity of coconut (Cocos nucifera L., var. Typica form typica) from Sri Lanka assessed by microsatellite markers

L. Perera, J.R. Russell, Jim Provan, W. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The coconut variety Typica, form typica, commonly known as Sri Lanka tall coconuts is the most widely exploited and grown variety in Sri Lanka. Under the coconut bio-diversity conservation programme, several Typica populations have been collected by island-wide surveys and planted ex situ. Thirty-three coconut populations were subjected to microsatellite assay with eight coconut-specific microsatellite primer pairs in order to study the levels and distribution of genetic variation of the collected materials for formulating future collection strategies and selecting parents for the breeding programme. A total of 56 alleles were detected ranging from 3 to 10 alleles per primer pair with an average of 7 alleles per locus. Overall a very high level of genetic diversity was detected (0.999) for all the populations studied ranging from 0.526 for population Debarayaya to 0.683 for population Dickwella. Only four introduced coconut populations, i.e. Clovis, Margeret, Dickwella, Mirishena and an embryo-cultured population were clearly separated from the resulting dendrogram. A very high level of within population variation (99%) accounted for native populations suggests a common history and a restricted genetic base for native Sri Lankan tall coconuts. Categorization of alleles into different classes according to their frequency and distribution confirmed the results of the dedrogram and concluded the adequacy of single large collection from the entire target area to represent the total genetic diversity in Sri Lanka. This study discusses useful information regarding conservation and breeding of coconut in Sri Lanka.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalEuphytica
Volume122
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science

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