GENETIC DIVERSITY IN ACCESSIONS OF Passiflora cincinnata Mast. BASED ON MORPHOAGRONOMIC DESCRIPTORS AND MOLECULAR MARKERS
ABSTRACT Passiflora cincinnata Mast. has become more popular in the market because the unusual flavor of its fruits and natural beauty of its flowers, and has great potential for breeding programs of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa, because its resistance to diseases and drought. The objective of this work was to evaluate seven wild passion fruit (P. cincinnata) accessions, using morphological and agronomic descriptors and molecular markers type ISSR, to identify their morphoagronomic and genetic variabilities and potential for use in breeding programs. A randomized block experimental design was used with five replications and two plants per plot. Thirteen qualitative and twenty-one quantitative, vegetative and floral characteristics were used for morphoagronomic characterization. Twelve ISSR primers were evaluated for molecular characterization. Among the qualitative characteristics, only the color variations were significantly different between the accessions. According to the mean squares of the quantitative characteristics evaluated, obtained from analysis of variance, the means of accessions showed significant differences (p<0.01) for all characteristics. The IAL (internode average length) was the morphological descriptor that most contributed to diversity, with 43.12%, followed by DH5 (stem diameter at 5 cm height) and SW (sepal width). The average genetic similarity found was 68%. Despite the low genetic variability found among accessions, the primers UBC-887 and UBC-841 stood out with high percentage of polymorphism with 14 and 11 polymorphic fragments, respectively, and higher values of polymorphism information content (PIC), resolving power (RP) and marker index (MI), denoting suitability for use in diversity studies of P. cincinnata. Low variability was found among accessions evaluated.