in current study random amplified dna-polymorphism markers were used to detect genetic variations in c. peruvianus somaclones and to examine relationships among somaclones and plants grown from seeds in cultivated populations. the possible association of dna fragments with morphological traits of somaclones was also investigated. polymorphism in somaclones (62.24%) was higher than that detected in cultivated plants (42.57%). the casual grouping of somaclones presented atypical and typical shoot phenotypes showed that the random amplifi ed dna-fragment polymorphisms detected in present study were not associated with shoot morphologies. similarity in somaclones and cultivated plants ranged from 70.2 to 93.7% and 76.7 to 86.8%, respectively. thus, in vitro tissue culture of c. peruvianus may be recommended to broaden the species's genetic base. the genetic variability found in somaclones is important as a source of new traits that may be necessary as breeding or conservation programs proceed.