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Comparison of DNA marker and pedigree-based methods of genetic analysis of plantain and banana (Musa spp.) clones; I: estimation of genetic relationships
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Traditional approaches to the breeding of Musa crops are highly demanding in terms of both time and space. However, the application of molecular genetic analysis may dramatically improve breeding efficiency. The objectives of the present study were to compare pedigree and DNA marker methods of estimating genetic relationships across and within generations among diploid, triploid and tetraploid accessions of plantain and banana. Pedigree-based estimates of parent-offspring relationships were substantially different from those obtained from molecular data. The marker-based contribution of triploid maternal accessions to their diploid offspring was greater than expected from published models of meiosis in Musa. Conversely, the maternal contribution to tetraploid offspring was less than expected. Pedigree-based similarity was smallest for clones with no common parent and greatest for full-sibs. There was no association between marker-based similarity and pedigree relationships. While DNA markers may provide a more accurate description of genetic relatedness, this study suggests that pedigree-based analysis may prove useful for the selection of prospective parental combinations in Musa breeding.