Full Length Research Paper
Aloe vera is highly valued for anthraquinones compounds found in their leaves. The main objectives of the present study were to (1) evaluate phenotypic and molecular diversity among Iranian Aloe accessions; (2) compare Aloin content among accessions collected from different ecological areas; (3) determine correlations between Aloin content and morphological traits; and (4) estimate the broad-sense heritability (h2b) for the traits evaluated. In this study a combined analysis of variance was used to evaluate 10 Iranian accessions of Aloe over a 2-year period. Traits investigated include leaf weight, root weight and Aloin content. RAPD markers were also used to evaluate molecular diversity. Statistical analysis showed that accessions had significant effect on all evaluated traits. Simple correlation analysis showed that leaf weight had positively significant correlation with root weight and also with Aloin content (r = 0.534 and 0.493, respectively). The highest estimate of broad-sense heritability was that of leaf weight (h2b = 67.2%). Cluster analysis based on agro-morphological/phytochemical traits or RAPD markers did not reveal a clear relationship between diversity pattern and geographical origin. In conclusion, genetic diversity of Iranian accessions of Aloe as shown in this study should play a critical role in future selection and breeding of Aloe.
Key words: Broad-sense heritability, breeding, anthraquinones, aloin.
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