Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) markers were employed to reveal genetic diversity and relatedness among 27 chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) cultivars in Ethiopia. Four di-nucleotide repeat primers amplified 24 clear and reproducible bands of which 22 were polymorphic (91.67%). The genetic variation among 27 chickpea cultivars including 12 kabuli and 15 desi verities is high; in which desi type exhibited a genetic diversity of 75% with Shannon index of 0.47, while the kabuli type chickpea had 91.67% genetic diversity and Shannon index of 0.50. Unweighted Pair Group of Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) dendrogram and NJ trees with Jaccard’s similarity coefficient showed three major clusters. This was also recovered by 3D principal coordinates analysis, although some cultivars were intermixed. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) demonstrated highly significant (p < 0.001) genetic diversity within cultivars (97.71%) than among cultivars (2.29%). The distinct cultivars (Aererti, Tejie, Fetenech and Maryie) can serve as parents for future genetic resources conservation and Chickpea breeding program in Ethiopia.
Key word: Chickpea cultivars, genetic diversity, ISSR markers, Ethiopia.
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