Rice is an important staple food crop that feeds over half of the global population and it has become the cereal that provides a major source of calories for the urban and rural poor in Africa. This research aimed to use simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to evaluate the genetic diversity in rice (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima) germplasm as breeding method. In the present study, 16 SSR markers were used across 48 genotypes or accessions obtained from Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Suakoko, Liberia and Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (PGRRI), Bunso, Ghana. DNA was extracted from 48 plants per accession without bulking to check the purity of the accession using the 16 SSR markers. Sixteen primers were acquired out of 20 primers which showed DNA amplification and polymorphism among the 48 rice accessions. The numbers of alleles detected by these 16 primers ranged from 1 to 16 with a mean of 5.25, while polymorphism information content (PIC) ranged from 0.06 to 0.66 with a mean of 0.35. The SSR markers were highly informative as generated by the power marker V3.25 software. The unweight pair group method with arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster dendrogram generated based on the 16 SSR markers grouped the accessions into 11 main clusters. At the similarity coefficients of 90%, the highly distance genetic diversity was found between 2 accessions; ACSS37 and ACSS1. Cluster X was the largest of all the clusters, while clusters VII and VIII were the second largest clusters with 7 accessions each. The outcome of this study should be useful to manage the gremplasm conservation and future rice genetic improvement.
Key words: Germplasm, genetic diversity, molecular markers, polymorphism, sequence repeat.
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