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Opuntia Case Study

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Opuntia Case Study
Abstract
The genus Opuntia belongs to the Cactaceae family and includes a range of species from 75 to 250 originated in North and South America. Several Opuntia species are used as forage and fodder for livestock in arid areas of the world, and their cultivation is drastically increasing. However the taxonomic classification of these species is complicated by the unavailability of adequate morphological descriptors, the high level of phenotypic plasticity, the occurrence of polyploidy and the frequency of natural hybridization. In this study 31 genotypes selected for forage production including Opuntia ficus indica and some related species were analyzed using SSR markers to establish their genetic variability and to elucidate phylogenetic
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These species originated in North and South America. The taxonomic classification of the genus is drastically complicated by the unavailability of adequate morphological descriptors, the high level of phenotypic plasticity, the high frequency of polyploidy and the intra and inter-generic hybridization (Scheinvar, 1995; Wallace and Gibson, 2002; Caruso et al., 2010; Majure et al., 2012).
Several opuntias have been cultivated since centuries and they have gained popularity for fruit and forage production but also for ornamental purposes and derivate products for cosmetic and medical uses (Mondragón-Jacobo, 2001). Most of the varieties used for fruit production, in native lands as well as in other productive areas, belong to the O. ficus indica (L. Mill.) commonly referred to as cactus pear, prickly pear, Indian fig, Barbary fig,
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During the last years, a number of studies have been performed using various random and specific molecular markers such as RAPDs, nrITS, AFLP, ISSR, and SSR, for genetic diversity studies, cultivar identification, phylogenesis analysis, etc. (Wang et al., 1998; Labra et al., 2003; Mondragón-Jacobo, 2003; Griffith, 2004; Zoghlami et al., 2007; Luna-Paez et al., 2007; García-Zambrano et al., 2009; Souto Alves et al., 2009; Bendhifi et al., 2013 and 2015; Ganopoulos et al., 2015; Realini et al., 2015; Valadez-Moctezuma et al., 2015; Samah et al.,

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