Submitted to: Journal of Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Plant classification into genus and species has traditionally been based on morphology (structure and form) of the plant, particularly flowers. The genus Rubus, comprising raspberries, blackberries and their relatives, is considered to have hundreds of species, many difficult to distinguish. Nucleic acid (DNA) fragments (randomly amplified polymorphic DNA or RAPD) can be used to identify precisely and quickly the genus, species and variety of plants. Data from the RAPD analyses were analyzed and used to construct a graph showing the relatedness among 40 diverse species that have been used in Rubus breeding. The relationships among the species generally reflected the traditional classification based on morphology. However, using the RAPD data, several species were classified differently than in the traditional system. This difference in classification could not be related to morphology or breeding behavior of the species. This information will be used by plant breeders, geneticists and taxonomists.
RAPD analysis was performed on 40 species of Rubus. Seventy- three percent of the bands produced were polymorphic. These data were sufficient to construct a dendrogram. The results are generally in agreement with the traditional classification of the genus Rubus. The exceptions, three species of the subgenus Malachobatus clustered with species of the subgenus Idaeobatus and one species of the subgenus Idaeobatus classified with the Malachobatus species, could not be accounted for based on morphology or breeding behavior. Neither classical nor RAPD- based taxonomy could explain breeding behavior exhibited between interspecific crosses within a subgenus.