Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Nepalese Populations of Swertia chirayita (Roxb. Ex Fleming) H. Karst Using RAPD-PCR Technique


Owing to the high demand, Swertia chirayita populations in the wild are being depleted beyond its regeneration capacity. S. chirayita is one of the most valuable medicinal plants of Nepal in trade. Present Molecular investigation was undertaken to understand the level of genetic diversity in five S. chirayita populations of Nepal using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique. Thirty four accessions of S. chirayita along with six outlier accessions were analyzed using 26 arbitrary primers. Of the total 285 amplified bands scored for S. chirayita, 263 bands (92.28%) were polymorphic. Two major clusters were revealed in the phenogram generated from cluster analysis using NTSYS-PC software (version 2.21i) for the geographic populations under study. Principal Coordinate Analysis further substantiated the results of the phenograms. Swertia chirayita populations from Sankhuwasabha and Terathum were found to be genetically closest (68%, similar) whilst Nagarjun and Terathum were found to be most distant (33%, similar).The high genetic polymorphism reflected in S. chirayita populations indicates the good survival potentiality and adaptability in changing environmental scenario. The results thus produced might be helpful to plant breeders for elite cultivar development. The RAPD-PCR technique is found to be the rapid and effective tool for genetic diversity assessment in S. chirayita populations and generated insights for the formulation of conservation strategy of this vulnerable species together with its phytochemical distinctiveness.

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J. Shrestha, T. Bhattarai, J. Sijapati, N. Rana, J. Maharjan, D. Rawal, B. Raskoti and S. Shrestha, "Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Nepalese Populations of Swertia chirayita (Roxb. Ex Fleming) H. Karst Using RAPD-PCR Technique," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 1617-1628. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.48196.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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