Date palm is the most important fruit tree in Qatar. Recently developed techniques, based on DNA markers, offer new tools for genetic analysis. The objectives of the present study are to analyze the genetic diversity among 15 different cultivars of date palm at the experimental farm of Qatar University using ISSR and SSR markers, and find out the genetic similarity and/or diversity among the well known date palm cultivars in the state of Qatar. DNAs were extracted from the young fresh leaves. A total of 34 primers of simple sequence repeat (SSR) and inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) were tested for their ability to generate banding patterns in 15 date palm genotypes. However, 10 SSR and 18 ISSR primers successfully produced clear bands in all of the studied genotypes. Similarity coefficient matrix was computed to cluster the data and to draw precise relationships among the fifteen studied Qatari date palm genotypes. All date palm genotypes are inter-related in spite of their agronomic divergence. Genetic similarities and dendrogram could re-group the Qatari date palm cultivars in a way that one cultivar (Abu Main) was excluded from the group due to its dissimilarity with the other cultivars. Two cultivars (Barhee and Sultana) were much closer and could be considered as coming from one origin. The polymorphic patterns obtained suggested that the ISSR and SSR procedures constitute alternative approaches that are suitable to examine the date palm's genetic diversity at the DNA level.


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  1. S.H. Al Hadidi, H.N. Al Agha, A. Talaat, Genetic diversity of date palm in Qatar, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, EEPS5.
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