Variation of seed protein of Alkanna orientalis subpopulations in relation to geographical isolation in St Katherine Protectorate, Sinai, Egypt

  • Somia S El-Akkad Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Mona M Ali Biotechnology Research Centre, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
Keywords: Boraginaceae, protein pattern, diversity index, dendrogram, arid environment


Alkanna orientalis was surveyed from four wadi systems (El-Arbaein, El-Tofaha, El-Dir and Abu Seila), and two open flat sites (beginning of wadi El-Sheikh and El-Rasis) in the St. Katherine Protectorate to look at the variation within and among individuals in these sites using total seed storage proteins. A total of 55 clearly distinguishable polymorphic bands were observed from 78 individual plants collected from these six sites. Some bands were found to be common to all subpopulations, but each subpopulation was characterized by its own band(s). Shannon's diversity index was calculated for each subpopulation showing that subpopulations contain different levels of diversity with an overall average of Hs = 2.97. The level of variation was very low within populations as compared with the very high difference detected among them. The six subpopulations were found to contain different levels of protein diversity (as measured by Shannon's index of diversity): wadi El-Tofaha, Abu Seila, El-Arbaein and El-Dir contained the lowest diversity, while El-Rasis and El-Sheikh subpopulations contained the greatest diversity. Geographically, the first four sites are closed wadi systems (narrow wadi beds bounded by high mountains) and hence probably having very restricted gene flow with each other, while the last two sites (El-Rasis and El-Sheikh) are open flat areas expected to be subjected to occasional gene flow via seed transport from the other four wadis.
KEY WORDS: Boraginaceae, protein pattern, diversity index, dendrogram, arid environment
Egyptian Journal of Botany Vol.5 2003: 27-34

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