Ficus L. is widely distributed in all the climatic stages and is of great diversity. Molecular marker is used for identification of genetic resources. Inter-simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) markers was used to assess the identification of 23 important Ficus species / varieties and determination of the genetic relationships among these species. Out of twenty one ISSR primers tested, five primers produced 116 detectable fragments, out of which 106 were polymorphic across the species/varieties. Each of the five primers produced fingerprint profile unique to each of the species/variety studied and thus could be solely used for their identification. Thirteen unique bands specific to nine species were detected. These may be converted into species-specific probes for identification purposes. Genetic relationships among these species/varieties were evaluated by generating a similarity matrix based on the Dice coefficient and the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Average (UPGMA) dendogram. The results showed a clear cut separation of the 23 Ficus varieties/species and were in broad agreement with the morphology. Both molecular and morphological markers will be useful for preservation of the Ficus germplasm.
Key words: Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR), phylogeny, Ficus species, fingerprinting.
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