Natural genetic variation in Calligonum Tunisian genus analyzed by RAPD markers
The Calligonum genus is one of the most economically important resources of the Tunisian desert, playing an important role in the lives of desert local population. A great range of genetic diversity could be seen in diverse populations of this genus which are spread all over Tunisian areas. DNA-based molecular markers are playing increasingly important role in the analysis of genetic diversity in wide range of plants. This study is an attempt to collect, compile and collate information on the existing natural genetic diversity, at intra-specific and inter-populational levels in Calligonum genus (C.azel, C.arich and C.comosum). This study deals with 16 genotypes of Calligonum (Polygonaceae) collected from different regions of Tunisian desert using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker. In total, 46 polymorphic bands amplified by 4 random primers, with the polymorphic rate of 89.06% were recorded. The commercial software package SPSS 16 was used to develop similar matrices based on the Dice coefficient which is defined as 2a/2a+u, where “a” is the number of positive matches and “u” is the number of non-matches. From the analysis, it is imperative that predominantly obligate out breeding behavior of Calligonum genus, helps these diverse accessions to spread and occupy specific geographical niches in the Tunisian arid regions.
Key words: Calligonum, genetic diversity, Inter-specific variation, RAPD marker, Tunisian desert.