Ganoderma lucidum is one of the most important medicinal materials and plant pathogens. Because of its specific interhybridization, the genetic background, however, is relatively unclear. It made identification of Ganoderma strains, especially closely related strains difficulty. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) using 14 primer combinations and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) PCR-RFLP were used in a comparative study which was designed to investigate the closely related Ganoderma strains genetic relations at molecular level. The analysis of 37 Ganoderma strains showed there were 177 polymorphic AFLP markers and 12 ITS PCR-RFLP markers, and all accessions could be uniquely identified. Among the Ganoderma accessions, similarity coefficients ranged from 0.07692 to 0.99194 in AFLP. The Ganoderma strains formed a tight cluster in nine groups in AFLP whereas seven groups in ITS PCR-RFLP. The cluster analysis revealed that the taxonomical system of subgenus Ganoderma is composed of Sect. Ganoderma and Sect. Phaeonema, and the strain 22 should be a variant form of strain 21. All methods delineated the Ganoderma strains from the different regions seeming to show a greater level of genetic diversity. It indicated that the genotype study at molecular level is a useful complement method to the current classification system of Ganoderma strains based on morphological traits. The congruency of the experiments was analyzed using the biostatistical software DPS V3.01. © 2007 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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