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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 45 No. 3, p. 1084-1091
    Received: June 4, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): fuy@agr.gc.ca
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Geographic Patterns of RAPD Variation in Cultivated Flax

  1. Yong-Bi Fu *
  1. Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0X2


Geographic studies of plant molecular diversity can provide insights into plant domestication and enhance plant germplasm management and utilization, but such studies are lacking in cultivated flax (Linum usitatissimum L.). The objective of this study was to assess the geographic patterns of flax variability in a world collection of cultivated flax by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Sixteen RAPD primers were applied to screen 2727 flax accessions representing 63 countries and one group of unknown origin, and 149 RAPD bands were scored for each accession. Analyses of the RAPD data revealed a wide range of occurrence frequencies of polymorphic bands from 0.0004 to 0.9978 with an average of 0.537. The majority (84.2%) of the RAPD variation resided within accessions of each country and only 15.8% of the variation was present among accessions of different countries. Grouping the accessions into 12 major regions explained 8.2% of the RAPD variation. Accessions from the East Asia and European regions were most diverse, but accessions from the regions of Indian Subcontinent and Africa were most distinct. Accessions from the West Asia region were genetically more related to those from the Africa region and less to those from the Indian Subcontinent region. These findings are significant for understanding flax domestication and also are useful in classifying intraspecific diversity of cultivated flax, establishing a core subset of the flax collection, and exploring new sources of genes for flax improvement.

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