Key words Cucumis melo
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract RAPD markers and agronomic traits were used to determine the genetic relationships among 32 breeding lines of melon belonging to seven varietal types. Most of the breeding lines were Galia and Piel de Sapo genotypes, which are currently being used in breeding programmes to develop new hybrid combinations. A total of 115 polymorphic reliable bands from 43 primers and 24 agronomic traits were scored for genetic distance calculations and cluster analysis. A high concordance between RAPDs and agronomic traits was observed when genetic relationships among lines were assessed. In addition, RAPD data were highly correlated with the pedigree information already known for the lines and revealed the existence of two clusters for each varietal type that comprised the lines sharing similar agronomic features. These groupings were consistent with the development of breeding programmes trying to generate two separate sets of parental lines for hybrid production. Nevertheless, the performance of certain hybrids indicated that RAPDs were more suitable markers than agronomic traits in predicting genetic distance among the breeding lines analysed. The employment of RAPDs as molecular markers both in germplasm management and improvement, as well as in the selection of parental lines for the development of new hybrid combinations, is discussed.
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