Naugžemys, D., Žilinskaitė, S., Kleizaitė, V., Skridaila, A. and Žvingila, D. 2011. Assessment of Genetic Variation among Elite and Wild Germplasm of Blue Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.).  Baltic Forestry 17 (1): 8 – 16

Honeysuckles (Lonicera L.) are a frequent element of northern boreal forest undergrowth and a rather new horticultural plant. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was used to assess the genetic variation of 51 accessions of blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.), including 19 elite cultivars and 32 genetic lines derived from seeds collected in wild populations. Twelve selected primers revealed 149 reproducible RAPD bands, 83.2 % of them being polymorphic. AMOVA and UPGMA analyses have shown that the group of genetic lines derived from wild populations is significantly different from the group of elite cultivars and can be used as a source of additional diversity in honeysuckle breeding programs. RAPD analysis identified RAPD band specific to the L. caerulea 4´ complex. Cloning and sequencing of a species-specific RAPD marker revealed DNA sequence polymorphism in this locus of L. caerulea L., L. caerulea L. subsp. stenantha (Pojark.) and L. caerulea L. subsp. kamtschatica (Pojark.) accessions.

Key words: RAPD, Lonicera caerulea, forest genetic resources, genetic diversity