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Pleurotus spp. is a taxonomically diverse group of species having a large range of distribution. The trait enhancement for commercial exploitation can be possible using inter and intraspecific hybridization in consideration of mating behaviour. In our study, we used forty-eight strains of the Pleurotus spp. to select the parents for interspecific hybridization. Diversity was selected as the criteria for selection and was estimated at the molecular and phenotypic levels. Nine inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used for the estimation of molecular diversity. All 48 strains were segregated into four species based on ITS maker (internal transcribed spacer) molecular identification. ISSR marker-based Unweighted Pair-Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA) dendrogram was created, and diverse strains were identified. The phenotypic genetic divergence based on quantitative characters was also computed using Mahalanobis D2 statistics. Based on the genetic distance from polymorphism information content, mahalanobis distance, and mean of biological efficiency, the parental combinations of DMRP-10 × DMRP-45, DMRP-25 × DMRP-36, DMRP-8 × DMRP-25, DMRP-25 × DMRP-41, and DMRP-10 × DMRP-25 were identified for further hybridization.
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Authors would like to acknowledge the support of Indian Council for Agricultural Research for conducting the research.