30 popular poplar clones were studied to assess genetic divergence using morphological growth parameters and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Based on Mahalanobis D2 analysis, 15 clusters were formed and clustering pattern indicated presence of substantial genetic diversity among 30 poplar clones. These clones were subjected to RAPD analysis, a total of 374 RAPD loci were detected out of which 20 were monomorphic and 354 were polymorphic. A positive correlation between morphological and RAPD analysis in estimating genetic divergence was found. The present molecular study revealed that genotypes from different geographical region clustered in one group, which signifies occurrence of narrow genetic base in that zone. To promote diversified plantation, a multiculture group comprising of S7C1, G-7, 421-2, 82-35-4, PIP-123, D-123, A-194 and 22-N was found to make a broad genetic base for commercial plantations.
Key words: Poplar, clones, D2, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), DNA, diversity.
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