Two DNA molecular marker techniques were used to evaluate genetic diversity in 58 accessions of jointed goatgrass and 6 accessions of the related wild species barb goatgrass. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assays were performed on 8 U.S. and 50 Eurasian jointed goatgrass accessions using 30 random decamer primers. The frequency of scorable polymorphic bands within jointed goatgrass was 6 out of 90 (6.7%). Cluster analysis of RAPD data showed small genetic distances (values of 0.005 or less) among jointed goatgrass accessions. To validate the effectiveness of RAPD techniques to detect genetic diversity in tetraploid Aegilops species, six accessions of barb goatgrass were assayed using a subset of 20 decamer primers (from the original 30). RAPD data for barb goatgrass were pooled with jointed goatgrass data from the same primers. A total of 63 scorable bands were generated, of which 27 (43%) were polymorphic between two or more accessions. RAPD analysis readily distinguished between the two species and detected much greater levels of genetic diversity within barb goatgrass than between the jointed goatgrass accessions. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) assays were performed on a subset of the 58 jointed goatgrass accessions, 3 U.S. and 13 Eurasian. These accessions were selected to represent a range in geographic diversity within our collection. Ten primer combinations generated 560 scorable bands of which 28 (5%) were polymorphic. Cluster analysis of AFLP data showed a slightly smaller range in genetic distance (0.0002 to 0.0022) among accessions compared with RAPD results; however, AFLPs distinguished among all but 2 of the 16 accessions surveyed. Although AFLP produced more scorable bands than RAPD did, both methods revealed limited genetic diversity in jointed goatgrass.
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