In order to estimate the genetic diversity within the Alstroemeriaceae family, nine wild alstroemeria accessions, 10 commercial varieties and the monotype Leontochir ovallei were evaluated using two different methods, RAPD analysis and UPOVs morphological descriptors. DNA from leaves, roots and tepals were analyzed by RAPDs with eight primers that generated 236 RAPD bands. Dendrograms obtained allowed identification of five main clusters: A. garaventae alone, wild alstroemerias, commercial varieties, A. exserens and A. spathulata together, and L. ovallei. Twenty-five morphological descriptors related to stem, leaf and inflorescence characteristics were evaluated and a resulting dendrogram was analyzed containing two main clusters: one grouping all commercial varieties plus A. magnifica ssp. magnifica and the other one with the rest of the wild alstroemerias. With both methods, enough informative information data was obtained to place the wild alstroemerias and commercial varieties hierarchically in different clusters. In this respect, morphological analysis grouped all commercial varieties closer to each other. Also, morphological descriptors grouped all wild alstroemerias except A. magnifica ssp. magnifica, whereas RAPD markers grouped seven out of the nine wild alstroemerias, leaving in another cluster A. garaventae, A. exserens and A. spathulata. These results suggest that also in alstroemeria, RAPD markers are a useful tool for the protection of new releases from a breeding program.
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