Diversity of Morinda citrifolia L. in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India) assessed through morphological and DNA markers
Morinda citrifolia L. is an important plant species for traditional medicine systems which also has immense scope in pharmaceutical industry. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of the 33 accessions using morphological traits and molecular markers. The accessions showed great variation among morphological parameters. The germplasm showed great variation for fruit weight which ranged from 60 to 125 g. JGH-5, GAH-2, HD-6, CHLD-17 and HBAY-11A from Andaman Islands were found to be big fruited while TRA-1 and TRA-2 from Nicobar Islands were found as small fruited accessions, suggesting difference in collections from Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands. The extent of diversity in accessions was also supported by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers which grouped M. citrifolia collections into two major clusters with 74% similarity. The study revealed variation in M. citrifolia populations from two different geographical isolated islands and identified promising accessions for agronomical parameters for breeding and industrial use.
Key words: Morinda citrifolia L., DNA markers, morphological markers, genetic diversity, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.