Assessment of genetic diversity of Haloxylon salicornicum genotypes, a native plant of Kuwait




Haloxylon salicornicum is one of the most important native desert flora scattered in Kuwait. Despite its ecological and economical importance, H. salicornicum is endangered by severe loss. Unless great attention is paid towards its protection and documentation, it faces the danger of extinction. Due to lack of information on the genetic diversity of H. salicornicum, this study attempts to analyse samples collected from nine representative locations from the Kuwait desert. Diversity analysis was performed using RAPD and ISSR technique. Twenty five RAPD and 24 ISSR primers produced 946 and 1016 bands respectively. RAPD produced a relatively higher proportion of polymorphic bands (49.4%) compared with ISSR (47%). However, Mantel test shows a very good degree of fit (r =0.96) between RAPDs and ISSRs data. Thus, the data of both marker systems were combined to produce single dendrogram. This showed that samples collected from regions 4, 5, 7, 8A, and 8B, are the most related (PDV= 0.13- 0.15), whereas those collected from regions 2 and 6 are the most genetically similar (PDV =0.28- 0.25) respectively.



Genetic diversity, H. salicornicum, RAPD, ISSR.

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