A molecular phylogeny of selected species of genus Prunus L. (Rosaceae) from Pakistan using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) spacer DNA
Prunus is found in all four provinces of Pakistan, that is, Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan including Azad Kashmir region. Studies on the family Rosaceae is scanty in the Flora of Pakistan and there is a lot of taxonomic work yet to be done, for the proper classification and placement of different genera under different sub-families. In the present study, the genus Prunus was studied in detail to find out the phylogenetic relationship among the 23 species of Prunus, selected from different regions of Pakistan and GenBank using maximum parsimony analysis of sequence polymorphism in nuclear ITS-9 and ITS-6 spacer DNA. The results for the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)- 9 and ITS- 6 primers confirm the work done by early phylogenetists with additions of new species from Pakistan including Prunus bokhariensis, Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb. (Syn. Prunus amygdalus) and Prunus cornuta (Wall. ex. Royle) Steudel. These are indigenous to Pakistan. In the ITS strict consensus results for example, the clade consisting of Laurocerasus, Padus and Cerasus subgenera are sister to the rest of the clades in the phylogenetic tree.
Key words: Phylogeny, Prunus, Pakistan, molecular phylogeny, nuclear primers.