Genetic Variability of Mangosteen, an Apomotic Garcinia
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Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is native to South East Asia, including Indonesia. Due to its apomictic reproduction pattern, it is assumed that all mangosteen trees have the same genetic properties. However, field evaluation has identified variability in several morphological characters, such as tree shape, fruit shape, and petal color. Further studies using RAPD, AFLP, and ISSR markers confirmed that there is genetic variability among the mangosteen populations in Indonesia. This variation may have arisen from accumulation of natural mutations, or multi-events of natural hybridization. Observations using ISSR markers on mangosteen and close relatives indicated the possibility of G. malaccensis and G. celebica as the common ancestors of mangosteen. Crop improvement has been conducted by selection of superior trees which has resulted in four new cultivars. Genetic variation has also been successfully obtained using mutation breeding through application of gamma ray irradiation to seed. For further crop improvement, specific primers for important traits nave been developed.