Studying genetic relationships among coconut varieties/populations using microsatellite markers

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (SciVal)


The extent of genetic diversity and the genetic relationships among 94 coconut varieties/populations (51 Talls and 43 Dwarfs) representing the entire geographic range of cultivation/distribution of the coconut was assessed using 12 pairs of coconut microsatellite primers. A high level of genetic diversity was observed in the collection with the mean gene diversity of 0.647+/-0.139, with that of the mean gene diversity of Talls 0.703+/-0.125 and 0.374+/-0.204 of Dwarfs. A phenetic tree based on DAD genetic distances clustered all the 94 varieties/ populations into two main groups, with one group composed of all the Talls from southeast Asia, the Pacific, west coast of Panama, and all Dwarfs and the other of all Talls from south Asia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean coast of Thailand. The allele distribution of Dwarfs highlighted a unique position of Dwarf palms from the Philippines exhibiting as much variation as that in the Tall group. The grouping of all Dwarfs representing the entire geographic distribution of the crop with Talls from southeast Asia and the Pacific and the allele distribution between the Tall and Dwarf suggest that the Dwarfs originated from the Tall forms and that too from the Talls of southeast Asia and the Pacific. Talls from Pacific Islands recorded the highest level of genetic diversity (0.6+/-0.26) with the highest number of alleles (51) among all the regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • coconut
  • Cocos nucifera
  • genetic diversity
  • microsatellite
  • SSR


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