Lepidium sativum L. (family Brassicaceae), is an underutilized medicinal plant with worldwide distribution. In Ethiopia, L. sativum occurs in all regions and agro-ecologies at different altitudinal ranges. The study was conducted to assess the genetic diversity of L. sativum population from Ethiopia using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) marker. Molecular data generated from ISSR bands recorded was used for computing gene diversity, percent polymorphism and Shannon diversity index and AMOVA. Moreover, the ISSR data was used to construct unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) and principal coordinated analysis (PCO) plot using Jaccard’s coefficient. Tigray and Amhara population showed higher gene diversity (0.24) and Shannon information index (0.35). All UPGMA, neighbor-joining (NJ) and PCO analysis showed very weak grouping among individuals collected from the same regions. Generally, Tigray and Amhara regions showed moderate to high diversity in ISSR analysis. Different geographical regions of Ethiopia, showed different level of variation; thus conservation priority should be given for those regions that have high genetic diversity. This result also indicates the presence of genetic diversity that can be exploited to improve the productivity of L. sativum in Ethiopia.
Key words: Genetic diversity, ISSR, Lepidium sativum.