Analysis of the Molecular Diversity of Kenyan Sorghum Germplasm Using Microsatellites
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The aim of this study was to estimate the extent of the genetic diversity present in sorghum germplasm grown in Kenya using simple sequence repeat markers. A total of 139 accessions were genotyped using 11 microsatellite markers or simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and the genetic diversity was estimated. The markers showed a wide range of differences in quality index from 0.005 to 0.39. The average Polymorphic Information Content value observed was 0.6241 indicating a high level of diversity. The gene diversity index ranged between 0.2419 and 0.9313 with a mean of 0.6627 per locus. A total of 105 alleles were observed with an average of 10.4 alleles per locus. The average heterozygosity level per locus was low at 0.1717. The variability within accessions among the populations was 74.85% and within individual accessions was 18.67%. The results showed that genetic diversity within Kenyan sorghum germplasm accessions is higher than that between the different populations. It is implied that such genetic diversity can be exploited as such or in hybridization programs to improve sorghum varieties currently grown by subsistence farmers in Kenya.