Cytoplasmic and nuclear DNA markers as powerful tools in populations’ studies and in setting conservation strategies

  • NB Hamza
Keywords: Chloroplast DNA, Mitochondria DNA, Nuclear DNA, DNA Markers, Population Studies


Plants are distinguished among eukaryotes in possessing two DNA-containing organelles, the mitochondrion and the plastid, whereas, most eucaryotes contain only the mitochondrial genome. Recently, both organelles are used efficiently in population studies as plant geneticists developed molecular techniques that facilitated the study of plant diversity and evolution. In this paper, some comparisons among organelle and nuclear DNA, their mode of inheritance, examples of their use in genetic investigation of natural plant populations and the different sampling strategies for both markers were provided. The availability of completely sequenced genomes facilitated the development of markers (for example, consensus cp DNA markers). The use of the organelle markers as a tool in intraspecific studies of plant populations, can aid in clarifying their complex behavior by studying their respective distribution area and population dynamics such as in several phylogeography studies. Such studies can help in suggesting conservation management strategies in future for the populations under study.

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eISSN: 1684-5315