Assessment of allelic diversity among drought-resistant cotton genotypes using microsatellite markers.
Drought, in conjunction with high temperature, is an important environmental constraint to cotton production. Development of cotton varieties with increased tolerance against adverse environmental conditions has been proposed as effective strategy for ensuring reliable yields. In the present study, 30 simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers were used to estimate genetic divergence among 22 cotton genotypes for drought stress tolerance. Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for developing drought resistant cotton genotypes. Eleven SSR primers out of 30 were able to discriminate among the cotton genotypes, implying that 37% of the primers were informative. In total, 41 alleles were detected, with an average of 3.72 alleles per primer. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one (JESPR-284) to six (JESSPR-302), and the allelic diversity in the experimental material was 0.40. Genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.87-1.00. The result of principal component analysis confirmed the clustering of 21 cotton genotypes in two groups leaving one genotype (CIM-109) ungrouped. Overall, genetic diversity among the 22 cotton genotypes was low. More polymorphic SSR markers are needed to explore the workable genetic variation among the screened cotton genotypes in future studies.