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Genetic variability and geographic differentiation in Thymus daenensis subsp. daenensis, an endangered medicinal plant, as revealed by inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers

Biochemical Genetics, December 2009, 47:831.

Mehdi Rahimmalek,  Babak Bahreininejad, Mojtaba Khorrami,  Badraldin Ebrahim Sayed Tabatabaei.


Thymus daenensis is an aromatic medicinal plant endemic to Iran. We used inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers to detect genetic polymorphism in this herb using 17 T. daenensis accessions collected from different geographic regions in Iran. The 15 primers chosen for analysis revealed 256 bands, of which 228 (88.9%) were polymorphic. Jaccard’s similarity indices based on ISSR profiles were subjected to UPGMA cluster analysis. The generated dendrogram revealed two major groups. The Tc group included the accessions collected from the center of the Zagros Mountains, and the Te group was collected from the extremes of the Zagros range. A principal coordinate analysis confirmed the results of clustering. The results showed that the divergence of accessions based on the Zagros Mountains is more logical in comparison with classification on the basis of provincial borders. Gene diversity and expected heterozygosity were greater in the Tc group than in the Te group, suggesting that the germplasm collected from the center of the Zagros Mountains is more variable.

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