Diversity among Cynodon accessions and taxa based on DNA amplification fingerprinting

S. Assefa, C. M. Taliaferro, M. P. Anderson, B. G. De los Reyes, R. M. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The genus Cynodon (Gramineae), comprised of 9 species, is geographically widely distributed and genetically diverse. Information on the amounts of molecular genetic variation among and within Cynodon taxa is needed to enhance understanding of phylogenetic relations and facilitate germplasm management and breeding improvement efforts. Genetic relatedness among 62 Cynodon accessions, representing eight species, was assessed using DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF). Ten 8-mer oligonucleotides were used to amplify specific Cynodon genomic sequences. The DNA amplification products of individual accessions were scored for presence (1) or absence (0) of bands. Similarity matrices were developed and the accessions were grouped by cluster (UPGMA) and principal coordinate analysis. Analyses were conducted within ploidy level (2x = 18 and 4x = 36) and over ploidy levels. Each primer revealed polymorphic loci among accessions within species. Of 539 loci (bands) scored, 496 (92%) were polymorphic. Cynodon arcuatus was clearly separated from other species by numerous monomorphic bands. The strongest species similarities were between C. aethiopicus and C. arcuatus, C. transvaalensis and C. plectostachyus, and C. incompletus and C. nlemfuensis. Intraspecific variation was least for C. aethiopicus, C. arcuatus, and C. transvaalensis, and greatest for C. dactylon. Accessions of like taxonomic classification were generally clustered, except the cosmopolitan C. dactylon var. dactylon and C. dactylon var. afganicus. Within taxa, accessions differing in chromosome number clustered in all instances indicating the 2x and 4x forms to be closely related. Little, if any, relationship was found between relatedness as indicated by the DAF profiles and previous estimates of hybridization potential between the different taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cluster analysis
  • Cynodon spp.
  • DAF
  • Genetic diversity


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