RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) markers were developed to distinguish Anoectochilus formosanus from Anoectochilus koshunensis and their putative hybrids. Morphological differentiation of these two species beyond the flowering period is difficult. RAPD markers provide a rapid and easy tool for identification of the two Anoectochilus species. In the study, forty arbitrary decamer primers were screened, and nineteen species-specific RAPD markers generated from polymerase chain reactions (PCR) with eight random primers were obtained. Nine were specific to A. formosanus and ten to A. koshunensis. Two primers, OPC-08 and OPL-07, produced two markers, one specific to A. formosanus and the other specific to A. koshunensis, which simultaneously appeared in the hybrids pattern. The RAPD markers can be applied both to identification of A. formosanus and A. koshunensis species and to assessment of the extent to hybridization in hybrids between them. This information facilitates the breeding program process.
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