Sweet cassava is a food culture of great importance because it is a source of nutrition and energy for millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical regions. For that reason, genetic diversity and population structure studies are necessary in order to obtain more information regarding the evaluated genotypes, reassuring their use in future breeding programs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic diversity and population structure of 51 traditional sweet cassava accessions collected in the Southern of Minas Gerais State, Brazil, using 20 microsatellite markers. All markers used to genotype the 51 sweet cassava accessions were polymorphic (PIC = 0.4080). Four sub-populations were identified using different methods (Bayesian analysis and multivariate analysis). The PhiPT (analogous Wright Fst) index of 0.073 indicated a moderated genetic variability among the studied traditional sweet cassava accessions. The dissimilarity index ranged from 0.097 to 0.560. Among the most divergent accessions stands out BGM 690, BGM 655 and BGM 660, which are the most recommended for obtaining a heterosis in order to increase yield production.
Key words: Manihot esculenta, genetic diversity, microsatellite markers, heterozygosity.
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