Genetic variation in relation to adaptability of three mangrove species from the Indian Sundarbans assessed with RAPD and ISSR markers

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Research Article

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Journal of Forestry Research


Rich genetic polymorphism is important for plants to adapt to changes because it enables the plant to make anatomical, physiological and biochemical changes in response to abiotic stress. Geomorphologic characteristics, demographic interference and a cumulative decrease in freshwater influx in the Indian Sundarbans region have proved detrimental to some economically important plants. In this study, genetic polymorphism of three mangrove species, Xylocarpus granatum, Excoecaria agallocha, and Phoenix paludosa, was assessed using RAPD and ISSR molecular markers. X. granatum, already in distress in the Sundarbans, had the least genetic polymorphism, 14.56% in the RAPD analysis and 12.92% in the ISSR. Relatively higher genetic polymorphism was recorded for the profusely growing E. agallocha and P. paludosa: 24.66 and 26.4% in RAPD; 24.87 and 20.32% in ISSR analysis respectively. A UPGMA dendrogram constructed using the similarity matrix from RAPD, ISSR and combined data showed that for X. granatum, the least and highest salinity zones clustered together, whereas for E. agallocha and P. paludosa, higher and lower salinity areas clustered in different clades. Nei’s genetic diversity, calculated from RAPD and ISSR data, was also in accordance with 0.0637 and 0.0583 for X. granatum, respectively, much lower than 0.0794 and 0.0818 for E. agallocha and 0.0799 and 0.0688 for P. paludosa. This opposing degree of polymorphism might be attributed to the profusely growing E. agallocha and P. paludosa and precarious status of X. granatum throughout the Indian Sundarbans.

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