Genotyping of Kenyan Passiflora Edulis Flavicarpa Hybrid Accessions and their Parents using SSR Markers
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The Passion fruit is a significant income earner for Kenya, ranking third after avocado and mango in terms of foreign exchange earnings. Increased research activities targeting variety improvement and development of new varieties have led to development of new passion fruit varieties by KALRO. These varieties are KPF-4, KPF-11 and KPF-12 which are hybrids of natural crosses of the coastal yellow varieties and purple variety. Despite these gains in breeding, there is little information on molecular variability of the hybrids as well as the parents. The present study aimed at evaluating the genetic variation of the hybrid and parent varieties using SSR markers. DNA was extracted using a modified CTAB protocol followed by PCR and analysis done using DARWIN 6 and GenAlex 6.502 software. The resulting dissimilarity matrix showed existing genetic variability among accessions within and among the varieties studied. Further, the results of principal component analysis and phylogenetic tree showed genetic homogeneity within the assigned populations. The findings of this study will supplement the existing body of knowledge in passion fruit breeding.