Genetic diversity of yacon accessions using ISSR markers.
Yacon cultivation has been intensified and the investigations of this crop have increased at the scientific, agricultural, and social levels because the roots of yacon show beneficial properties for human health, such as reducing cholesterol and glucose blood levels. Since the investigations involving yacon are very recent, there is little information available in terms of the genetic characterization of the cultivated genotypes. In view of the lack of information on the accessions cultivated in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, this pioneering study aimed to characterize 60 accessions cultivated in the state using ISSR yacon markers with emphasis on identifying the genetic diversity among the materials. The 20 ISSR primers used produced a total of 82 fragments, 39.6% of which presented polymorphism. The number of fragments per primer ranged from 1 to 10. The dissimilarity values ranged from 0 to 0.54 according to the Jaccard coefficient. A dendrogram was generated in which the accessions were divided into 3 groups; group 1 contained 58 individuals and groups 2 and 3 had only one individual in each group. The clustering of 58 accessions in a single group shows the low diversity in the materials examined. This low diversity indicates that new genotypes must be introduced in order to promote increased variability, which would minimize the adverse effects caused by biotic and abiotic factors.