Globally, banana is the fourth most important fruit crop and is grown in more than 130 countries across the world. Traditional procedure to characterize banana plants by morphological descriptors has many limitations, and different communities refer to the same local cultivars by different names due to lack of clear clone identity resulting in unnecessary duplication with regard to cultivation, conservation and research. To alleviate this problem application of modern finger printing technology through DNA studies have been recommended for accurate selection of banana clones. Here, 16 genotypes of banana collected from different districts of West Bengal and other parts of India were characterized by RAPD analysis to assist the selection of characters for banana breeding. It was observed that among the 25 randomly selected markers, OPE 1, 4, 7, 9, 20 and 25 showed 100% polymorphism under annealing temperatures of 27 and 29°C. Their genetic diversity study revealed that sixteen germplasms were grouped into eight clusters namely Malbhog, Martaman, Kalibhog and Sobri in Cluster-I; Alapan, Poovan and Champa in Cluster-II; Amritpani, Bamandeshi in Cluster-III; Dudhsagar, Rasthali in Cluster-IV; Krishna Vazai, Manohar in Cluster-V; Chang Monua in Cluster VI; Kanai Bansi in Cluster VII and Nendran in Cluster VIII.
Key words: Banana, molecular characterization, genetic diversity.
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