Genetic diversity analysis of the medicinal herb Plantago ovata (Forsk.)
Plantago ovata (Forsk.) (2n = 8) used as laxative, emollient and demulcent, has great commercial and medicinal importance. With India being the largest producer in the world there is still a lack of defined varieties of the species and no coordinated breeding efforts are being made. In the present study, we report the phylogenetic analysis of the crop for its utilization in future breeding programs for defining varieties of the crop. A total of 302 clear and reproducible bands were obtained with random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) techniques involving 35 random primers in 18 selected lines, out of which 198 (65.5%) were polymorphic with an average 8.6 bands per primer. Amplified DNA fragments ranged from 300 to 3400 bp. Dissimilarity indices based on Nei and Li equation ranged from 0.07 to 0.29 indicating moderate level of genetic polymorphism. Hierarchical cluster analysis using SPSS method showed genetic variation amongst genotypes dividing them into three major clusters comprising 10, seven and one genotypes, respectively. The result of present study indicates that RAPD analysis has determined the genetic relationships and estimated the genetic diversity among the genotypes of P. ovata.
Key words: Plantago ovata (Forsk.), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, Nei and Li equation, genetic diversity.