The Western Ethiopian region harbors a unique set of sorghum germplasm adapted to conditions not conventional to sorghums grown in other parts of the world. Accessions from the region possess unique resistance to multiple leaf and grain diseases. This study is aimed at exploring the extent of genetic variation and population structure among accessions of this region. A total of 123 accessions comprising 111 from Western Ethiopia (62 from Asosa and 49 from Pawe) and 12 U.S. adapted lines were genotyped using 30 sorghum simple sequence repeat markers (SSR). Genetic diversity and population structure were analyzed using PowerMarker and STRUCTURE software, respectively, based on 23 polymorphic SSR markers. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to view the variability in multi-dimensional space. Population structure analysis revealed considerable admixtures between Pawe and Asosa accessions, while the PowerMarker analysis grouped the accessions into three distinct clusters largely based on collection regions. The PCA did not clearly differentiate Asosa and Pawe accessions, but U.S. adapted lines were clearly separated from the rest. The study indicated the presence of marked genetic variability among accessions from Western Ethiopia and also provided clues on shared genetic events among accessions adapted to the two areas in Western Ethiopia.
Key words: Sorghum, genetic diversity, population structure, SSR, Ethiopia.
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