Genetic diversity of Solanum elaeagnifolium, an invasive problematic weed in Jordan.
Solanum elaeagnifolium (silverleaf nightshade) is a problematic weed that is common in Jordan and difficult to control. The weed exhibits distinct morphological variations in growth habit, leaf shape, leaf margins, flower colour and presence or absence of spines between individuals among and within populations suggesting genetic differences. Genetic variations among 61 samples of S. elaeagnifolium collected from heavily infested sites in the central Jordan Valley were investigated using six simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and eight amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer combinations. Results showed that 111 out of 675 AFLP bands were polymorphic generating polymorphism information content (PIC) of 38.0%, while 23 SSR polymorphic alleles were detected generating a PIC of 30.8%. Phylogenetic analysis using RaxML software identified four major clades with a clear clustering of the samples with their collection sites. Genetic analysis using both techniques revealed high level of genetic diversity among S. elaeagnifolium samples collected from a small geographical area indicating that a range of genetic diversity may be detected in weed populations across the country that may complicate its management.