The persistent low yield and farmers’ preference of their traditional yam varieties over the improved varieties necessitated this study to verify the adoption status of the released varieties in Nigeria. A total of 48 accessions of white yam (Dioscorea rotundata) were sampled from six states of Ebonyi, Enugu, Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa and Oyo within Nigeria yam-belt and were genotyped for relatedness to four released varieties from the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike yam breeding programme, while 14 accessions of water yam (D. alata) were sampled from four states of Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa and Oyo and were also genotyped for relatedness to three released varieties from International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan. A total of 29 alleles were found in 5 sets of primers analyzed for 52 D. rotundata accessions and the number of alleles ranged from 5 (Dald08, SSR 51 and YM 34) to 8 (Dab2E07) with an average of 5.8 per locus. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.19 (YM34) to 0.77 (YM30). A total gene diversity of 0.63 according to Nei (1978) genetic distance coefficients was observed among the 52 D. rotundata accessions. Similarly, a total of 37 alleles were observed when 17 D. alata accessions were analysed with the 7 selected sets of primers. An average of 5.29 alleles was observed per locus. The observed heterozygosity varied from 0.47 (Dab2D06) to 0.82 (YM34). A total gene diversity of 0.58 was observed among 17 D. alata accessions according to Nei’ genetic distance coefficients. Cluster analysis showed that the D. rotundata accessions were classified into 8 clusters. While, 17 accessions of D. alata were classified into 4 clusters. There were relationships between some released varieties and farmers accessions and also among the farmers’ accessions from different locations, indicating that farmers might have given a preferred local name to the released varieties.
Key words: Verification, adoption, status, yam, microsatellites-markers.
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