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Use of RFLP markers to study the diversity of the coconut palm

Lebrun P., Grivet L., Baudouin L.. 1999. In : Oropeza C. (ed.), Verdeil J.L. (ed.), Ashburner G.R. (ed.), Cardena R. (ed.), Santamaria J.M. (ed.); CICY. Current advances in coconut biotechnology = [Progrès actuels en biotechnologie du cocotier]. Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers, p. 73-87. (Current Plant Science and Biotechnology in Agriculture, 35). International Symposium on Coconut Biotechnology, 1997-12-01/1997-12-05, Merida (Mexique).

A study of the genetic diversity in coconut was performed using RFLP markers. A total of 289 palms, representative of 26 Tall and 16 Dwarf cultivars were analysed. Those cultivars originated from the major coconut cultivation areas. Twenty nuclear probes from oil palm, rice, maize, and coconut and 1 cytoplasmic probe from wheat were used in combination with 4 restriction enzymes. Factorial Correspondence Analysis was used to summarise the structure of the variation observed at the molecular level. These results, along with geographical and historical consideration,allowed to idenfify two main groups of Tall coconuts, originating respectively from a large area including South-East Asia and the Pacific Ocean and from the Indian sub-continent. Cultivars from East Africa and from the Andunm share markers of both groups whereas Panama Tall appears to be derived from the first one. All Dwarfs (except for Niu Leka) form a very homogeneous group related to the first group of Tall. The implications on the evolution of coconut and on the use of molecular markers for coconut germplasm management and utilisation are discussed.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; variété; variation génétique; biodiversité; rflp; marqueur génétique; sonde nucléique; provenance

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