Essential oil diversity and molecular characterization of Ephedra species using RAPD analysis

Document Type: Original paper

Authors

1 Biotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Natural Products and Medicinal Plants Research Center, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran.

5 Biotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Background and objectives: The genus Ephedra (Ephedraceae) consists of about 40 species of mostly shrubs and rarely small trees around the world. In the present study, the essential oil (EO) diversity and genetic relationships were investigated in six Ephedra species from Iran using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Methods: Theplants were collected from two different provinces; Azarbayjan (north-west) and Khorasan (north-east) of Iran. The EOs were obtained by hydro-distillation and analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The DNA was extracted from the aerial parts of the plants using a Qiagen Dneasy Plant Mini Kit. Amplification was performed using decamer RAPD primers. Results: A total of 187 bands were scored and used for the analysis of genetic distances. Genetic distance values ranged from 0.25 to 0.95.The analysis showed the highest genetic diversity (25%) between E. foliata with other species. Ephedra foliata formed a distinct group. Ephedra strobilacea was found to be the most similar to E. sarcocarpa (male).Conclusion: High genetic and EO diversity was demonstrated in this genus which should be further studied in order to make more efficient use of the species and considering relevant conservation programs.

Keywords


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