A useful biological interpretation of diploid heterozygotes is in terms of the dose of the common allele (0, 1 or 2 copies). We have developed a PERL script that converts FASTA files into coded spreadsheets suitable for principal component analysis. In combination with R and R Commander, two- and three-dimensional plots can be generated for visualizing genetic relationships. Such plots are useful for characterizing plant genetic resources. This method nicely illustrated the spectrum of genetic diversity in tomato landraces and the varieties categorized according to human-mediated dispersal.
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