Genetic relationships within and among seven Iranian native silkworm strains was determined by DNA fingerprinting by using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. In total, 189 informative AFLP markers were generated and analyzed. Estimates of Nei’s gene diversity for all loci in individual strains showed a higher degree of genetic similarity within each studied strain. The highest and the least degrees of gene diversity were related to Khorasan Pink (h = 0.1804) and Baghdadi (h = 0.1412) strains, respectively. The unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic average dendrogram revealed seven strains of silkworm,Bombyx mori (L.), resolving into two major clusters. The highest degree of genetic similarity was related to Baghdadi and Harati White, and the least degree was related to Guilan Orange and Harati Yellow. The genetic similarity estimated within and among silkworms could be explained by the pedigrees, historical and geographical distribution of the strains, effective population size, inbreeding rate, selection intensity, and gene flow. This study revealed that the variability of DNA fingerprints within and among silkworm strains could provide an essential basis for breeders in planning crossbreeding strategies to produce potentially hetrotic hybrids in addition to contributing in conservation programs.
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Vol. 100 • No. 3