Genetic Diversity and Relationship in Squash Using Morphological, Chemical and Molecular Analyses  

Abd El-Hamed  K. E. , Elwan  M.W. M. , Mohamed  F.H.
Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, 41522, Egypt
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 12   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2015.05.0012
Received: 18 Jun., 2015    Accepted: 05 Aug., 2015    Published: 25 Oct., 2015
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Abd El-Hamed K. E., Elwan M. W.M. and Mohamed F. H., 2015, Genetic Diversity and Relationship in Squash Using Morphological, Chemical and Molecular Analyses International Journal of Horticulture, 2015, Vol.5, No.11 1-10 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2015.05.0011)

Abstract

Germplasm characterization is an important link between the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. A collection of thirteen summer, spaghetti and acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and one winter squash (Cucurbita moschata L.) germplasm accessions were screened using morphological (leaf area, fruit weight, fruit length, fruit firmness), chemical [Soluble Solids Content (S.S.C.), ascorbic acid] and molecular [Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD)] analyses. A wide range of variability among genotypes was recorded for morphological and chemical characteristics. The percentages of variation were 217%, 532%, 175%, 166%, 148%, 520% for leaf area, fruit length, fruit weight, fruit firmness, S.S.C, ascorbic acid content, respectively. Both significant positive and negative correlations have been found between the morphological and chemical characteristics. The RAPD analysis produced 209 DNA fragments with 100% polymorphism in two or more squash genotypes while none of the fragments showed monomorphic behavior among squash genotypes. At a similarity level of 82% the genotypes were divided into two clusters. The first cluster consisted of eight genotypes (PI 506466- PI 292014- PI 518688- PI 615119- PI 136448- Butternut- Copi- Eskandrani). The second cluster contained only two genotypes (Yellow Crookneck and Shamamy). When the cluster analysis of RAPD patterns was associated with morphological and chemical evaluation of squash genotypes used in this study, there was a notable degree of agreement. The RAPD-PCR was found to be suitable for use with squash due to its ability to discriminate between genotypes and determine their genetic relationship. Results obtained in this investigation provide clear evidence that there is a considerable variation among summer squash genotypes. Present results support the development of breeding programs in squash since high genetic variability in its accessions and landraces has been found.

Keywords
Cucurbita pepo L.; Cucurbita moschata L.; RAPD; Genotypes characterization; Phylogeny; Clusters.
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