Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Apiaceae) is a well-known traditional Chinese medicinal herb with hemodynamic and analgesic effects. The species is known to undergo strict asexual reproduction via clonal propagation, and all known occurrences of the species are under cultivation practices. In this study, genetic diversity of L. chuanxiong throughout most of its cultivated range in China was assessed. Two hundred and sixty-six individuals representing 14 populations of L. chuanxiong were screened for ISSR and AFLP markers. ISSR analysis detected polymorphisms in 35% of the observed bands generated from 10 primer pairs. Two hundred and fifty-six AFLP fragments were obtained with six primer combinations, with a 29.3% level of polymorphism. These results indicated low levels of genetic variation in cultivated populations. Independent UPGMA analyses were performed for ISSR and AFLP data. The dendrograms generated from both data sets showed a close alliance among Sichuan Province populations, and Mantel tests revealed the presence of a moderate spatial geographic gradient among all populations representing five Provinces. Overall, our results suggested that mating system and anthropogenic effects play an important role in shaping the genetic diversity and structure of L. chuanxiong.
Key words: Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort., Genetic diversity, inter simple sequence repeat, amplified fragment length polymorphism.
Abbreviations: AFLP, Amplified fragment length polymorphisms; ISSR, inter simple sequence repeats; CTAB, cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide; PPB, percentage of polymorphic bands; UPGMA, unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean;AMOVA, analyses of molecular variance; RAPD, random amplified polymorphic DNA; PCR, polymerase chain reaction; Ht, total genetic diversity; Hs, genetic diversity within populations; Gst, genetic differentiation among populations.
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