Genetic diversity assessment in medicinal herb Swertia Speciosa (Wall.Ex.D.Don) of higher himalayan region

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-024-00903-6
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Keywords: Swertia, Alpine, Genetic diversity, Cluster analysis, Random amplified polymorphic DNA


The great Himalayas are continuously facing a lot of biotic and abiotic challenges like climate change, anthropogenic pressure, etc. since the last decade which as a result is putting the native vegetation, especially of alpine regions, under immense pressure, pushing a number of plants near to the brink of extinction. The present study was done on Swertia speciosa which is a popular substitute of Swertia chirayita, endemic to the Himalayan region and enlisted as endangered in the IUCN Red Data book. Genetic diversity studies on S. speciosa can enable us to understand its adaptability and chances of survival in the near future which can ultimately serve the purpose of conservation and reduce the overexploitation of S. chirayita by serving as a suitable substitute. To assess the genetic diversity, a cluster analysis using the dendrogram method from eight different germplasm of S. speciosa collected from different regions of Uttarakhand Himalayan Ranges (2800–4000 masl) was done, where 15 sets of RAPD primers were used for generating 248 discernible and reproducible bands among the analyzed population with 230 polymorphic and 18 monomorphic bands. The (UPGMA) cluster analysis exposed three distinct clusters: I, II, and III. The cluster I was represented by the S.speciosa population collected from Kedarnath (3500 m asl), Dayara (3408 m asl), Madhyamaheswar (3478 m asl), Sunderdunga (3593 m asl), Bansinaryan (3618 m asl) and Harkidoon (3525 m asl). Cluster II included collection from Bednibugyal (3305 m asl). Cluster III was represented by collection from Tungnath (3361 m asl) and populations were also independent of variations in altitude and geographical locations. The best genetic variation (0.384) was observed in Harki-doon (3525 m asl) population as compared to other populations of S. speciosa which may be possible due to varied altitudinal, habitat, and environmental related factors.

Swertia, Alpine, Genetic diversity, Cluster analysis, Random amplified polymorphic DNA

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We thank both the Director of HAPPRC and GBPHIED for their assistance with the experiments.

Author Information

Kumar Rajeev Ranjan
High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center (HAPPRC), HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar Garhwal, India
Chauhan Jaidev
High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center (HAPPRC), HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar Garhwal, India

Chandola Vaishali
High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center (HAPPRC), HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar Garhwal, India
Purohit Vijay Kant
High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center (HAPPRC), HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar Garhwal, India
Prasad P.
High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Center (HAPPRC), HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar Garhwal, India
Bhatt Indra Dutt
G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, India
Jugran Arun
G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, India