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Morpho-Physiological and Molecular Characterization Reveal Low Genetic Variation for Conservation of Endangered Iranian Moshgak (Ducrosia anethifolia Boiss)

Ducrosia anethifolia Boiss is an aromatic vegetable and medicinal plant of Apiaceae family. In this study, morphological and essential oil studies as well as ISSR analyses were employed to investigate genetic diversity in 120 Moshgak accessions of 24 Iranian populations. High variations were observed in morpho-physiological traits (morphological and essential oil contents) of the populations in 2 consecutive agronomic years. In both studied years, the highest leaf (1% and 1.2%) and seed (2.46% and 2.9%) essential oil contents were recorded for the Abarkuh population. For ISSR analysis, 15 primer combinations were employed that produced 120 polymorphic bands. Dendrogram and STRUCTURE software grouped the accessions into four clusters although such grouping did not fit the geographic regions perfectly. Among the populations, Abarkuh and Kerman exhibited the highest genetic distance. Based on analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), only 4.32% of the total genetic diversity was observed among the populations, while 95.68% was detected within the populations. Moreover, the studied populations exhibited a low genetic differentiation (Gst = 0.13) but a high gene flow (Nm = 3.26). It may be concluded that the results of the study provide new insights regarding the genetic diversity of Moshgak germplasm that will be useful for its conservation management and breeding programs for oil- and yield-related traits.

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