Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to characterize and assess genetic diversity of Iranian bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using 101 cultivars and breeding lines. Twenty-three ISSR primers amplified a total of 267 loci, of which 224 (83.9%) were polymorphic among the genotypes. The percentage of polymorphic loci (PPL) for primers ranged from 54% (UBC808) to 100% (441, A12 and UBC820). The mean of expected heterozygosity (He) for the primers varied from 0.26 (UBC808, UBC827 and A14) to 0.48 (A12, 441). The PPL, He, Shannon’s information index (I), and number of effective alleles (Ne) for breeding lines were slightly higher than those of cultivars. The Dice similarity coefficient for the germplasm ranged from 0.76 (between two breeding lines) to 0.91 (between two breeding lines). The dendrogram grouped samples in four main clusters; most cultivars were placed into the same cluster close to each other with regard to their geographic origin. The genotypes in different groups might be used as potential parents in bread wheat breeding programs. Also, a high level of genetic similarity detected in this collection may demonstrate the narrow genetic base of Iranian wheat germplasm.
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