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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Analyses of genetic diversity and population structure of anchote (Coccinia abyssinica (Lam.) Cogn.) using newly developed EST-SSR markers

Tolera, Bekele Serbessa; Woldegebriel, Kifle Dagne; Gari, Abel Teshome; Dida, Mulatu Geleta; Geletu, Kassahun Tesfaye


Anchote (Coccinia abyssinica (Lam.) Cogn.) is a perennial root crop belonging to Cucurbitaceae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia and distributed over wide range of agro-ecologies. For further improvement and efficient conservation of this crop, characterization of its genetic diversity and its pattern of distribution is a vitally important step. Expressed sequence tags-simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) markers were developed from publicly available watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] ESTs in the GenBank database. Among those novel markers, eight were polymorphic and subsequently used for genetic diversity and population structure analyses of 30 anchote accessions collected from western Ethiopia. A total of 24 alleles were obtained across the eight polymorphic loci and 30 accessions that revealed moderate level of genetic diversity in this minor crop. Among the eight loci, locus CA_06 was the most informative with six alleles and polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.76. The accessions showed about threefold variation in terms of genetic diversity, with expected heterozygosity (He) ranging from 0.15 (accession An) to 0.44 (accession Dg). Other accessions with higher genetic diversity include Ar and Gu (He = 0.43 and 0.41, respectively). Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that the variation within accessions and among accessions accounted for 84.7% and 15.3% of the total variation, respectively. The study revealed low but significant population differentiation in this crop with no clear pattern of population structure. The EST-SSR markers developed in this study are the first of their kind for anchote and can be used for characterization of its wider genetic resources for conservation and breeding purposes.


Accession; Anchote; Coccinia abyssinica; EST-SSR; Genetic diversity; Population structure

Published in

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
2021, volume: 68, number: 6, pages: 2337-2350
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Tolera, Bekele Serbessa
Wollega University
Woldegebriel, Kifle Dagne
Addis Ababa University
Gari, Abel Teshome
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Geletu, Kassahun Tesfaye
Addis Ababa University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics and Breeding

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