Submitted to: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2004
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Citation: El-Assar, A.M., Krueger, R., Devanand, P.S., Chao, C.T. 2005. Genetic analysis of egyptian date (phoenix dactylifera l.) accessions using aflp markers. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. Interpretive Summary: Use of plant germplasm for crop improvement necessitates understanding the genetic relationships and diversity in the materials used. This information is well developed for some crops but less well for others, including date palms. Date palms are an important and very old crop in Egypt, and this study aimed to elucidate the genetic relationships between 21 important Egyptian varieties and some other materials collected from various locations. AFLP markers were used. Most of the accessions fell into a large cluster of closely-related material that was similar genetically. This cluster may represent the major and perhaps original group of date palm germplasm in North Africa. Other smaller clusters represented less closely-related accessions. This is the first study to perform this type of evaluation for Egyptian date palm varieties.
Technical Abstract: Forty-seven samples of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) collected from eight locations in Egypt were studied using four sets of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers with near Infrared fluorescence labeled primers. These samples belonged to 21 named accessions and 9 of unknown pedigrees. A total of 350 bands were scored and 233 (66.6%) were polymorphic. Twenty-seven Egyptian accessions and 'Medjool' and 'Deglet Noor' accessions from California could be classified into the major cluster. This major cluster may represent a major group of date palm germplasm in North Africa. There were four other clusters, each containing one or two accessions. The variety 'Halawy' and one accession of unknown provenance were most likely from hybridization between two clusters. Six groups of accessions of which had the same names, revealed similar but not identical AFLP profiles suggesting these accessions might derive from seedlings rather than through clonal offshoot propagation.