Molecular Characterization of Turkish Cactus Pear (Opuntia spp.) by RAPD Markers
Keywords:Barbary fig, prickly pear, PCR, diversity, similarity.
Opuntia ficus-indica Mill. commonly known as cactus pear is the most agronomically
important species in Cactaceae. Turkey has important genetic resources of Opuntia spp.
which should be characterized for further breeding strategies. In this study, molecular
characterization of plant materials collected from different regions of Turkey in which
Opuntia species grown naturally, was performed by using Random Amplified Polymorphic
DNA (RAPD) markers. DNA was successfully amplified by 50 RAPD primers. Among 250
bands generated by the RAPD primers, 180 were polymorphic. The number of bands
detected by a single primer set ranged from one to 12 (average of five bands/primer). The
percentage of polymorphism was 72% based on RAPD data. All data were scored as
discrete characters and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA)
dendrogram and principle coordinate analysis (PCoA) were performed. Based on the
results, Opuntia genotypes showed high genetic diversity and we showed that RAPD
markers are powerful tool to discriminate Turkish Opuntia genotypes. The high genetic
diversity existing in the Turkish germplasm suggests that it would be beneficial to utilize
this pool in Opuntia breeding programs and germplasm management activities.