The genetic diversity and relationship of 42 tomato varieties sourced from different geographic regions was examined with EST-SSR markers. The genetic diversity was between 0.18 and 0.77, with a mean of 0.49; the polymorphic information content ranged from 0.17 to 0.74, with a mean of 0.45. This indicates a fairly high degree of diversity among these tomato varieties.
Tomato breeding and variety development have led to the generation of a large number of varieties in many countries worldwide. This has created a growing and urgent need for an improved strategy for genotyping and identification since the traditional methods based on phenotype are growing unreliable. DNA markers could provide distinct benefits in tomato variety identification; however, DNA fingerprint analyses have not made DNA marker data readily usable for identification of varieties in tomato and other crops.