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Aims: the aim of the present study was to determine the genetic diversity among the five commercially important species of Calamus using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers.
Study Design: DNA extracted from mature leaves of selected species was used as template DNA for optimization of PCR amplification. Data was analysed with the help of software; numerical taxonomy and multivariate analysis version 2.02e (NTSYSpc) and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA).
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at the Department of Botany, Bangalore University, Bangalore 560056, India during 2014.
Methodology: Calamus huegelianus, C. nagabettai, C. prasinus, C. thwaitesii and C. vattayila, known for their good quality canes, are selected for the present study to characterize them through RAPD analysis. Fifteen decamer primers were used for amplification. However, only five primers have generated clear reproducible bands. Simple matching, similarity co-efficient, dendrogram and principal component analysis were composed by using NTSYSpc and UPGMA.
Results: Clear and reproducible 108 bands were scored with 64 polymorphic bands indicating 59.25 percent of polymorphism among the species selected. Higher percent of 76.00 was noted in Calamus prasinus and least of 43.67 in C. huegelianus. Similarity co-efficient value of 0.45 to 0.66 indicates less genetic divergence among the taxa selected. The cluster analysis with the help of dendrogram and principal component analysis has revealed that C. vattayila is distinct from others since it has 6 veined leaflets. The other selected four taxa are having three veined leaflets. Hence, clustering pattern was compared with distinguished phenotypic characters.
Conclusion: The previously mentioned data obtained through cluster, the principal component analysis clearly indicate that the taxa are clustered together based on sharing of common phenotypic characters. The present study is a step forward in understanding the genetic affinities among the selected taxa and their conservation strategies.