Genetic Structure of Cactus Pear (Opuntia Ficus Indica) in Moroccan Collection
Recently, a large plantation has been established in Morocco, to reduce water and wind erosion, rangeland degradation, sand movement and to enhance the restoration of the vegetation cover. However, this plant material has unknown genetic characterization. In addition, several local classifications and morphological descriptions were used. The objective of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity using RAPD markers in a collection of 13 provenances of Moroccan Opuntia ficus indica (L.). Based on 13 random primers, the result showed that the level of diversity (h) and polymorphism varied according to the provenance. A high genetic differentiation was found between the provenances (Gst = 0.29), thus some loci were characteristic of certain provenances. These results can be used to characterize genetic resources of Morocco cactus pear, and to initiate a program of genetic improvement and selection.