Cultivated peanut or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) native to South America is an important source of oil and protein. Knowledge of genetic diversity within and among varieties in a crop is prerequisite to its improvement. In the present study, the level of genetic variability among groundnut accessions from a gene pool was analyzed using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. The effect of gamma ray radiation on molecular variation was also determined in targeted accessions. The rate of polymorphic loci, Nei’s gene diversity (h), and Shannon’s index (I) among accessions were 54%, 0.188, and 0.28, respectively. The groundnut accessions were genetically closely related with the genetic distance values varying from 0.11 to 0.37. The amplitude of variation based on the level of polymorphic loci was increased by 37% with 0.10 KGy gamma-ray treatments compared to control for the JL 24 accession from Brazil. Gene diversity and Shannon index were increased by 84 and 57%, respectively, for the same treatment (0.1 KGy).
Key words: Groundnuts, Arachis hypogaea L., inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR), genetic diversity, gamma ray radiations, gene pool, DR-Congo.
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