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  • 1 Melkassa Agricultural Research Center Nazareth Ethiopia
  • | 2 Oromyia, Agricultural Research Institute Addis Ababa Ethiopia
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A study on the extent and pattern of genetic variability in late-maturing sorghum [ Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] landraces collected from the Wello and Hararge areas of Ethiopia was conducted using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers for 70 individuals representing 14 populations. Four oligonucleotide primers generated a total of 55 polymorphic bands with 13–19 bands per primer and a mean of 16 bands across the 70 individuals. The value of the Shannon diversity index among the populations (0.26) and between the two regions (0.24) was low to moderate, despite the high degree of polymorphic bands per primer. The mean genetic distance (0.25) between the populations was found to be low. The low genetic variation may be due to the reduced population size of late-maturing sorghum landraces in the two regions of Ethiopia because of farmers’ decisions in the process of planting, managing, harvesting and processing their crops. Partitioning of the genetic variation into variation between and within the population revealed that 92.9% and 7.10% of the variation was found to be between and within the populations, respectively. Cluster analysis of genetic distance estimates further confirmed a low level of differentiation in late-maturing sorghum populations both between and within the regions. The implications of the results for genetic conservation purposes are discussed.

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