Biosystematics and evolutionary studies in Indian Drimia species

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E-mail: neetindesai@gmail.com. Tel.: 91-22-39286175. Fax: 91-22-39286197.

Abstract

Abstract  The taxonomic position and genetic relationship within Indian Drimia species is controversial due to their morphological similarities and genomic complexities. The present work gives an insight on the genetic relationship between Indian Drimia species on the basis of their karyotype, pollen morphology, flower opening characteristics, hybridization behavior, and by use of DNA sequence of two molecular markers (internal transcribed spacers [ITS] and maturase K [matK]). The karyotypic studies of Indian Drimia species revealed various polyploid forms making their identification and delimitation more difficult. The five species of Indian Drimia are grouped into two complexes, indica complex and wightii complex on the basis of their pollen morphology, karyotype, and hybridization behavior. These two groups were found to be evolving separately. The cytomorphological studies of wightii complex revealed that it is evolving through polyploid and chromosome repatterning, while indica complex have adapted polyploid as well as hybridization for evolution. Phylogeny obtained from DNA sequences of molecular markers (ITS and matK) confirmed that the indica complex and wightii complex are evolving parallely, by grouping them in two clusters. Thus, a combination of conventional and molecular methods proved to be of great use for delimiting a small but complex group of Indian Drimia species.

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