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Establishment and molecular characterization of a sweet potato germplasm bank of the highlands of Paraná State, Brazil

Author(s): L.K.P. Camargo1,2, A.F. Mógor2, J.T.V. Resende1 and P.R. Da-Silva3

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is a crop of great importance in developing countries, as a food staple, for animal feed, and potentially for biofuel. Development of cultivars adapted to specific regions within these countries would be useful. To start a breeding program, the first step is the establishment of a germplasm bank. We initiated a sweet potato germplasm bank with accessions collected from the highlands of Paraná State, Brazil. To establish this germplasm bank, we carried out numerous sweet potato-collecting expeditions in regions with an altitude above 700 meters in this region; 116 genotypes currently comprise this collection. The genetic diversity of this germplasm bank was estimated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Polymorphic information content (PIC), marker index (MI), and resolving power (RP) were calculated to determine the viability of ISSR markers for use in sweet potato genetic studies. The correlation between PIC and MI (r2 = 0.81) and between MI and RP(r2 = 0.97) were positive and significant, indicating that ISSR markers are robust for sweet potato identification. Two ISSR primers, 807 and 808, gave the best results for all attributes, and thus could be used as representative ISSR primers for the genetic analysis of sweet potato. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis indicated high genetic variability (0.51 of similarity among all genotypes); genotypes collected from different counties grouped together.