A set of twelve simple sequence repeat markers was used to evaluate the genetic background of 738 pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) accessions, which belonged to the Iranian National Pomegranate Collection, from 23 provinces of Iran. Genetic diversity among the accessions was analysed using several variability parameters. Forty-three alleles were detected with a mean of 3.59 alleles per locus. The highest levels of polymorphism were found for the locus ABRII-MP26. The mean values of expected heterozygosity and polymorphic information content were 0.521 and 0.458, respectively. Neighbour-Net analysis based on uncorrected P distances and a model-based method separated the accessions into 8 main groups and several subgroups, with a tendency to cluster by geographical origin. From the simple sequence repeat analysis, it can be concluded that the genetic base of the Iranian National Pomegranate Collection is broad enough to ensure future progress in breeding programmes and these markers are effective tools for conducting genetic diversity studies in pomegranate and developing strategies for germplasm management.
- genetic variability