Utility of multidisciplinary approach for genome diagnostics of cultivated and wild germplasm resources of medicinal Withania somnifera, and status of new species, W. ashwagandha, to the cultivated taxon

Tanvir H. Dar, Deepmala Sehgal, Sushma Koul, Bilal A. Mir, Maharaj K. Kaul, Soom Nath Raina, Ghulam N. Qazi, Arun Kumar

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23 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Realizing the inconsistencies that exist in the extent and nature of differentiation in the Withania somnifera genetic resources in India, the 21 cultivated and wild accessions, and the two hybrids (cultivated 9 wild accessions and vice versa) were investigated for morphological, cytogenetical, chemical profiling, and crossability features. Their nuclear and chloroplast genomes were also assayed at the nucleotide sequence level, and by use of DNA markers. Chloroplast DNA diversity and somatic chromosome number (2n = 48) were not helpful in identifying the differences. Other approaches, on the other hand, especially restriction endonuclease digests, types and sequence length composition of ITS 1 and ITS 2 of nuclear ribosomal DNA, AFLP fingerprinting, and crossability barriers unambiguously provided startling discrete differences between the cultivated and wild accessions, indicating a clear division of W. somnifera into two distinct lineages. These data, therefore, are indicative of the fact that because of the unique characteristics of its nuclear genome, and strong crossability barriers vis-a`-vis wild accessions of W. somnifera, the cultivated accessions should be relegated to the rank of the separate species, W. ashwagandha.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Volume291
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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