Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers for genetic analysis in Allium
Wilkie, Susan E.
Isaac, Peter G.
Slater, Robert J.
RAPD analysis was applied to onion (Allium cepa) and otherAllium species in order to assess the degree of polymorphism within the genus and to investigate if this approach was suitable for genetic studies of onion. Seven cultivars ofA. cepa, including shallot, and single cultivars of Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum), chive (A. schoenoprasum), leek (A. ampeloprasum), and a wild relative of onion (A. roylei), were evaluated for variability using a set of 20 random 10-mer primers. Seven out of the twenty primers revealed scorable polymorphisms between cultivars ofA. cepa and these will be further evaluated for use in genetic mapping. Wide variations in banding profiles between species were observed with nearly every primer tested. These were assessed for use in systematic studies within the genus. Ninety-one band positions were scored (+/-) for all the cultivars studied. Genetic distances between each of the cultivars were calculated and cluster analysis was used to generate a dendrogram showing phylogenetic relationships between them. The resulting analysis was in broad agreement with previous classifications of the species studied, confirming the validity of the method. However, amongst the species studied, it placedA. roylei as the closest relative ofA. cepa, questioning the current classification of the former species in the section Rhizideum