• SUMA ARUN DEV

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Narrow gene pool can threaten the survival of Calamus nagbettai R. R. Fernald & Dey: a highly, endemic dioecious rattan species in the Western Ghats of India

      SUMA ARUN DEV SWATHI BALAKRISHNAN ANOJA KURIAN V. B. SREEKUMAR

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      Rattans, the spiny climbing palms of Arecaceae (Palmae) family exhibit high endemism to the biodiversity hot spots in India. Of the five rattan genera, Calamus is the only genus found in peninsular India with 15 of 21 species, endemic to the Western Ghats. The extensive utilization of rattans owing to their strength, durability and huge demand has resulted in depletion of their natural resources. Ofthe 15 endemic species, C. nagbettai is the most affected species on account of endemism, low population size and restricted distribution with fragmented populations. The present study revealed high amount of genetic diversity in the surviving scattered populations of the species using microsatellite markers. High gene flow (Nm = 1.498) observed across the populations resulted in low genetic differentiation (14%). A clear genetic admixture could be seen in Kerala as well as one of the Karnataka’s populations while the remaining two populations were genetically distinct. UPGMA, PCoA and STRUCTURE analyses showed significantly different genetic composition in Kerala population compared to other populations. Kerala and Karnataka populations of C. nagbettai were also unique in their genetic structure and allelic composition. Therefore, effective management and conservation strategies have to be implemented to preserve the rarealleles with adaptive potential to protect this economically valuable Calamus species from endangerment. Overexploitation, low seed set and poor regeneration, as well as habitat fragmentation can further threaten the survival of this endemic, narrowly distributed dioecious rattan species in the Western Ghats region.

    • DNA barcoding supports existence of morphospecies complex in endemic bamboo genus Ochlandra Thwaites of the Western Ghats, India

      K. SIJIMOL SUMA ARUN DEV V. B. SREEKUMAR

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      Ochlandra Thwaites, an economically exploited bamboo genus of the Western Ghats of India is severely affected by unsustainable extraction, natural habitat destruction and endangerment of species resources. This taxonomically challenging genus consists of a genetic mixture of 10 related polyploid species that are difficult to define and classify using traditional morphology. The present study investigated the probability of DNA barcoding using seven standard barcode regions recommended by CBOL as a supplementary tool to define true species boundaries. Distance (MEGA v.6.0) and sequence similarity (TaxonDNA) based approaches highlighted the discriminatory power of psbA–trnH intergenic spacer barcode region, but did not support true species entities. Neighbour-joining and Bayesian inference trees supported the existence of morphospecies complex in seven species of the genus owing to weak reproductive barriers amongnaturally coexisting species. Morphological affinities existing within genus might have stemmed from natural interspecific hybridization events and consequent reticulate evolution in morphospecies complex of genus Ochlandra.

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