In this study, we applied a new approach of using random amplified polymorphicdeoxyribonucleic acid (RAPD) fingerprints to distinguish 64 fruiting mei cultivars based on optimization of RAPD through choosing 11 nt primers and strict screening polymerase chain reaction (PCR) annealing temperature. Results show that this new approach could clearly utilize and record the fingerprints generated from various primers in cultivar identification and a cultivar identification diagram (CID) readily constructed. The CID can make mei cultivar identification efficient just like a periodic table of elements, providing the information needed to separate groups of cultivars as desired. The workability and efficiency of the method were also well verified. To our best knowledge, this new strategy is the most efficient and workable in indentifying plant varieties using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) markers, which can be of great help in plant cultivar identification for protection of cultivar rights and for early identification of seedlings in the nursery industry.
Key words: Prunus mume, new approach, random amplified polymorphic deoxyribonucleic acid (RAPD), fingerprints, cultivar identification diagram (CID).
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