Evaluation of the extent of genetic variation in mahoganies (Meliaceae) using RAPD markers

K. J. Chalmers, A. C. Newton, R. Waugh, J. Wilson, W. Powell

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the economic importance of mahoganies (Meliaceae) little is known of the pattern of genetic variation within this family of tropical trees. We describe the application of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based polymorphic DNA assay procedure random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) to assess the extent of genetic variation between eight mahogany species from four genera. Pronounced genetic differentiation was found between the species and genera. There was a clear separation of Cedrela odorata from the other species, with 95% of the variable amplification products differing, whereas Lovoa trichilioides, Khaya spp. and Swietenia spp. were more closely grouped. These results are consistent with the current taxonomic viewpoint. A number of markers were found to be diagnostic for particular species, which could be of value in determining the status of putative hybrids. The application of RAPDs to the study of genetic variation in mahoganies is discussed in the context of developing genetic conservation and improvement strategies for these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1994


  • Conservation
  • Genetic Improvement
  • Genetic variation
  • Mahoganies
  • RAPDs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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