Analysis of genetic diversity of muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis, Helfer; Lepidoptera : Saturniidae) using RAPD-based molecular markers
AbstractEleven populations of muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer, the golden silk yarn producer of northeast India, was subjected to RAPD marker analysis in order to assess its genetic diversity. The genomic DNA extracted from muga silkworms were analysed using 50 random primers among which 36 polymorphic primers generated 309 bands. RAPD profile of the isolated DNA revealed a high level of genetic polymorphism. The average amplicons per primer was found to be 8.58, and 94.82% amplicons were polymorphic. Cluster analysis based on Jaccard’s similarity coefficients resulted in the formation of two main clusters with one population on one cluster and the remaining on the other cluster.
Jaccard’s similarity coefficients ranged from 0.122 to 0.863 indicating a high level of genetic diversity within muga silkworm collection. The study concluded that, although there lays little morphological differences among the collected muga silkworm populations, the populations are highly polymorphic which might have enabled the silkworm to survive under a restricted geographical location, that is north east region of India only but under diverse climatic conditions for a long period. This study may
be useful in identifying diverse genetic stocks of A. assamensis, which may be conserved on a priority basis.