Six primers named VM 9, VM 27, VM 36, VM 39, VM 74 and VM 98 were utilized to assess their ability to reveal polymorphisms in 20 cowpea accessions collected from Ibadan, South-western Nigeria using Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR). Reaction products (bands) of the SSR analysis were moderately high and polymorphic. The most distinct accession at agglomerative coefficient of 42 (level of similarity) was NG/SA/07/0320 based on the molecular dendogram. The most informative and reliable primer that was able to distinguish the 20 accessions of cowpea among the six primers was VM 39 with polymorphism information content (PIC) and polymorphic band value of 0.74 and 5 respectively. This information showed that there is sufficient genetic variance to warrant selection for improvement in the cowpea accessions studied.
Key words: DNA, simple sequence repeats (SSR), cowpea, accession, marker and primers.
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