The genetic heterogeneity of navel sweet orange (Citrus sinensis, Navel ) trees grown in Mazandaran province was evaluated with RAPD markers. Fifty two navel orange leaf samples from trees bearing each of the three morphologically distinct fruit types, soft rind, rough rind (old line), semi-rough rind (nucellar), were employed. Four of the 21 random primers used produced reproducible polymorphic bands. Of 864 fragments 150 to 2100 bp in size, amplified by the four primers, 70.13% were polymorphic. A similarity matrix using Nei coefficient, was generated and the genotypes were clustered with the UPGMA method by POPGEN32. The nucellar lines appeared to be closely similar to the standard Washington navel line. The highest levels of heterogeneity were observed within the soft rind and the rough rind lines. The observed heterogeneity may have resulted from the occasional budsports occurred and the selection methods variously employed by the nurserymen. The nucellar lines, which are gaining popularity only recently, have not been propagated extensively and thus remained comparatively homogeneous. It appears from the results of the present study, that the cultivar locally known as Thomson navel is misnamed and would probably be regarded as Washington navel.
A. Dehesdtani , S.K. Kazemitabar and H. Rahimian , 2007. Assessment of Genetic Diversity of Navel Sweet Orange Cultivars Grown in Mazandaran Province Using RAPD Markers. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 6: 1119-1124.