Enabling different genetic diversity algorithms to unravel conservation and divergence in moringa germplasm accessions
Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam. Moringaceae) leaves have enormously valued for their food, medicinal and industrial uses. To evolve improved leafy biomass producing cultivars, it is essential to systematically analyse the available morphological and genetic diversity. This study investigated the genetic diversity of 55 Moringa germplasm accessions using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and leaf morphological traits by employing a wide range of genetic distance measures, clustering procedures and other multivariate methods. Though analysis with DAR win 6.0 and TASSEL 4.0 has generated three clusters, NTSY Spc 2.0 and Power Marker v.3.25 produced only two major clusters. Morphological diversity was also analysed with five leaf traits using both Minitab 20.0 and XL-STAT and they produced two main clusters. Distantly related germplasm accessions identified in this study (such as Karumbu Murungai and Kappalpatti Murungai), would be of great importance in further genetic improvement of Moringa for increased leaf biomass, a valuable trait that can ensure nutritional and economic security.
Key words: Moringa, Molecular markers, SSRs, Genetic diversity algorithms, Leaf biomass
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