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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Comparison of morphological and genetic characteristics of avocados grown in Tanzania

Juma, Ibrahim; Geleta, Mulatu; Hovmalm, Helena Persson; Nyomora, Agnes; Saripella, Ganapathi Varma; Carlsson, Anders S.; Fatih, Moneim; Ortiz, Rodomiro


Tanzania has been growing avocado for decades. A wide variability of the avocado germplasm has been found, and the crop is largely contributing to the earnings of the farmers, traders, and the government, but its genetic diversity is scantly investigated. With the purpose of comparing morphological and genetic characteristics of this germplasm and uncovering the correlation between them and the geographical location, 226 adult seedling avocado trees were sampled in southwestern Tanzania. Their morphological characters were recorded, and their genetic diversity was evaluated based on 10 microsatellite loci. Discriminant analysis of principal components showed that the germplasm studied consisted of four genetic clusters that had an overall average gene diversity of 0.59 and 15.9% molecular variation among them. Most of the phenotypes were common in at least two clusters. The genetic clusters were also portrayed by multivariate analysis and hierarchical clustering for the molecular data but not for the morphology data. Using the Mantel test, a weak significant correlation was found between the genetic, morphological, and geographical distances, which indicates that the genetic variation present in the material is weakly reflected by the observed phenotypic variation and that both measures of variation varied slightly with the geographical sampling locations.


correlation; diversity; microsatellite; Persea americana; population structure

Published in

2021, Volume: 12, number: 1, article number: 63