Original Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 299, Issue 9, pp 1637-1643

First online:

Comparison of SSR and cytochrome P-450 markers for estimating genetic diversity in Picrorhiza kurrooa L.

  • Meenu KatochAffiliated withBiotechnology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR) Email author 
  • , M. A. HussainAffiliated withBiotechnology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR)
  • , A. AhujaAffiliated withBiodiversity and Applied Botany Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR)

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Picrorhiza kurrooa L., a high altitude medicinal plant, is known for its drug content called Kutkin. In the present study, DNA-based molecular marker techniques, viz. simple sequence repeats (SSR) and cytochrome P-450 markers were used to estimate genetic diversity in Picrorhiza kurrooa. Twenty five accessions of Picrorhiza kurrooa, collected from ten different eco-geographical locations were subjected to 22 SSR and eight cytochrome P-450 primer pairs, out of which 13 SSR markers detected mean 5.037 alleles with a mean polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.7718, whereas eight cytochrome P-450 markers detected mean 5.0 alleles with a mean PIC of 0.7596. Genetic relationship among the accessions was estimated by constructing the dendrograms using SSR and cytochrome P-450 data. There was a clear consistency between SSR and cytochrome P-450 trees in terms of positioning of most Picrorhiza accessions. SSR markers could cluster various Picrorhiza kurrooa accessions based on their geographical locations whereas cytochrome P-450 markers could cluster few accessions as per their geographical locations. The Mantel test between SSR and cytochrome P-450 markers revealed a good fit correlation (r = 0.6405). The dendrogram constructed using the combined data of SSR and cytochrome P-450s depicted two clusters of accessions based on its eco-geographical locations whereas two clusters contained the accessions from mixed eco-geographical locations. Overall, the results of the present study point towards quiet high degree of genetic variation among the accessions of each eco-geographic region.


Picrorhiza kurrooa L. Genetic diversity Short sequence repeats (SSR)