The aim of this work was to characterize 111 native avocado (Persea americana Mill) cultivars with molecular and morphological markers. This study was carried out from 2009 to 2011 at Antioquia Department, Colombia, South America. The molecular analysis was performed with 38 AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) and the primers E-ACT/M-CTC and E-AAC/M-CAA, that produced high levels of expected hetorozygocities for avocado from the municipalities of Valparaíso, Santa Bárbara and La Ceja. The native cultivars obtained from these places showed 100% genetic similarity with Hass. Twenty three shared AFLP loci where observed among all native genetic material and Hass, Fuerte and Reed from Antioquia. A UPGMA (Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean) dendrogram constructed with the AFLPs and Nei genetic distance produced three clusters that grouped individuals that are geographically close and in places climatically similar. In addition, a principal components analysis (PCA) based on morphological traits produced three groups that are coincident with the dendrogram. The AMOVA (Analysis of Molecular Variance) estimated a significant but low Phipt (Fst analogous) value, indicating genetic differentiation among the Antioquia avocados. The results obtained in this work identified zones of Antioquia with native material that could potentially be used as injertation for the Hass variety, as a first step towards certification of avocado vegetative material in Colombia.
Keywords: population genetics, molecular identification, morphological characterization