The genetic diversity of three wild rice populations of Ethiopia along with three cultivated rice populations were studied using Inter simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) as a molecular marker. A total of 93 clear and reproducible bands were generated using four dinucleotides and two tetra nucleotides primers. Both UPGMA and neighbor joining trees were constructed for each individual and population using Jaccard’s similarity coefficient. The trees and PCO clearly indicated six distinct groups which are based on populations of origin. Oryza glaberrima, Oryza sativaand NERICA-3 clustered as a major group while Oryza barthii and Oryza longistaminata were clustered as the second major group. Such clustering of O. glaberrima with O. sativa and NERICA-3 is considered to be due to genetic admixture of O. glaberrima with O. sativa. The over all gene diversity and percent polymorphisms were found to be higher in wild rice (0.14; 38.3 respectively) than in cultivars (0.11; 28.3 respectively). The Shannon’s diversity index also confirmed the existence of higher diversity in wild rice populations than cultivated species. Furthermore, partitioning of the Shannon’s diversity showed that the majority of the variations were observed among population (63%). Similarly, AMOVA demonstrate highly significant (P = 0.00) genetic differences among populations (72.9) than within populations (27.1).
Key words: Genetic diversity, wild rice populations, cultivated rice, Oryza sativa,Oryza glaberrima, NERICA, ISSR.
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