Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Elucidating the genetic diversity of farmer cultivars of female date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) from Sudan by microsatellite markers

Elsafy, Mohammed; Zborowska, Anna; Bryngelsson, Tomas; Fatih, Moneim; Mujaju, Claid; Gustavsson, Larisa


Genetic diversity in female date palms for a total of 89 tree samples, representing 18 cultivar groups, was investigated using 10 loci of microsatellite (SSR) primers. The microsatellites examined showed high polymorphism, a total of 126 for the 10 microsatellite loci, giving an average of 12.6. Low F-ST values were observed among different fruit classification groups of Sudanese date palms (soft, semi-soft and dry) suggesting that the observed high genetic variability is maintained locally within cultivars. Across all genetic parameters, in comparison among the cultivar groups, the Jaw group was consistently highly variable followed by Korsha, Gondela and Barakawi, respectively. Multivariate analysis of the 89 date palms showed some strong relationships with some mixed grouping, showing a tendency of relate fruit classification and related genotypes. Dry dates almost grouped together while the soft and semi-soft were mixed and somewhat related to genotypes. The effect of genotype was highly supported by the relationship of 14 cultivar groups, in which similar cultivars were associated regardless of the state to which they belong. Further detailed analyses of female date palm populations from different geographic locations represented by a minimum of five plants per cultivar is necessary to provide the basis for understanding of the date palm genomes, revealing the true extent of gene flow between farmer cultivars.


Cultivar; Female date palm; Genetic diversity; Microsatellite markers; Phoenix dactylifera L.

Published in

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
2016, Volume: 63, number: 6, pages: 975-986