Evaluating genetic relationships between indigenous coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) accessions from Sri Lanka by means of AFLP profiling

L. Perera, J. R. Russell, J. Provan, J. W. McNicol, W. Powell

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109 Citations (SciVal)


PCR-based DNA profiling of coconut palms indigenous to Sri Lanka was conducted using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLPs). A total of 322 amplification products were generated from the 42 genotypes with eight pairs of primers (EcoRI and MseI). Overall most variation was detected in the tall (Typica) rather than the intermediate (Aurantiaca) and dwarf (Nana) forms. A hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was used to quantify and partition levels of variability into between- and within-form components. This revealed that for the inbreeding dwarf and intermediate forms most variation was observed between, rather than within, forms. In contrast, the outbreeding tall forms exhibited as much variation within as between forms. These observations have important implications for the maintenance and collection of coconut germplasm. This study also provided insights into the genetic (as opposed to phenotypic) relatedness of coconut accessions. Morphologically the Aurantiaca group of accessions are considered to be intermediate between the tall and dwarf accessions. Estimation of genetic relatedness based on A FLP analysis identified the Aurantiaca group as being more similar to the dwarf rather than the tall group. In addition, putative duplicate accessions were identified in the Aurantiaca group. Information emerging from this study will facilitate the management of coconut germplasm and optimise the choice of genetically divergent parents for crossing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • coconut
  • AFLPs
  • genetic resources
  • Coconut
  • Genetic resources


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