Submitted to: Mid Atlantic Plant and Molecular Biology Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2001
Publication Date: August 3, 2001
Citation: Saunders, J.A., Mischke, B.S., Goenaga, R.J., Hemeida, A.A. 2001. The use of dna fingerprinting in chocolate trees to study genetic diversity [abstract]. Mid Atlantic Plant and Molecular Biology Proceedings. Technical Abstract: DNA fingerprinting, a tool which has been widely used in forensic science, is also useful in plants to study genetic diversity within a breeding population. Two different procedures have been employed to establish DNA fingerprinting profiles with 180 accessions of Theobroma cacao grown in Puerto Rico which represent the USDA chocolate germplasm collection. Each of the two molecular techniques, Amplified restriction Fragment Length Polymorphic (AFLP) DNA analysis and Single Sequence Repeat (SSR) analysis, has its strengths and weaknesses. We analyzed the USDA Puerto Rico T. cacao germplasm collection with six AFLP primers and with 15 SSR primers to assess the genetic diversity of the collection on a molecular basis. Although the SSR DNA fragment analysis was easier to perform and analyze than the AFLP techniques. SSR procedures do require substantial preliminary studies to define adequate PCR primers. AFLP techniques have the significant advantage of being suitable for virtually any population without extensive preliminary molecular analysis or sequencing procedure. Using the Puerto Rico collection of T. cacao germplasm, 15 international SSR primers were tested and the allele ranges for these primers were established. These primers can now be used in a routine manner to assess the genetic diversity of T. cacao collections from world populations.