Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 14:11 | Cite as

Rapidly evolving sex-specific sequences in Calamus travancoricus Bedd. ex. Becc. and Calamus nagbettai R.R.Fernald & Dey

  • Binoy Kurian
  • A.S. Hemanthakumar
  • Joemon Jacob
  • Muhammad Ali Noushad
  • K. K. Sabu
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Evolution


Gene sequences mediating sexual reproduction are more divergent within and between closely related species. Microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers are valuable molecular tools for analysis of genetic variability, phylogeny, and also for identifying sex at seedling stage in dioecious plant species. Calamus travancoricus Bedd. ex. Becc. and Calamus nagbettai R.R.Fernald & Dey are economically important rattan species. The dioecious nature of the Calamus spp. limits its breeding and cultivation. The sex of rattans can only be identified after attaining reproductive maturity which ranges from 5 to 15 years. A study was carried out in this background and 9 putative sex-specific PCR products were identified as sex markers for C. travancoricus and C. nagbettai and sequenced by Sanger method. The sequence homology search revealed occurrence of identical sequences in many plant species across different families indicating the conserved nature of the sequences. However, these sequences were not present in opposite sex in the studied species, indicating divergent evolution favoring sex determination. Annotation of these sequences revealed that most of these are mediating sexual reproduction by and large. An adequate sex ratio is to be maintained for these dioecious palms in natural habitat for producing offsprings having equal gene complements for continual evolution and sustainable utilization. Developing scientific management strategies and improved utilization of canes could help to generate employment locally and thus contribute to the socioeconomics sustainably.


Rattan palm Sex-linked sequences Sex determination Dioecious plants Microsatellites Sequence homology search 



The authors thankfully acknowledge the financial help received from the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Thiruvananthapuram (order no. 234/KBC/2012/KSCSTE) for this work. We extend our sincere thanks to Director, JNTBGRI for providing necessary facilities. We also extend our special thanks to Kerala State Forest Department for granting permission to collect leaf samples of the rattan species from various forest regions (order no. WL 10-3053/2012). The authors express their gratitude to Mr. Shefeek S. for assistance during plant collection trips.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Data archiving statement

All the DNA sequences generated in the study were deposited in NCBI GenBank under accession numbers KX495760.1, KX495761.1, and KX495762.1 and submission ids MF686043 to MF686048.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research InstituteThiruvananthapuramIndia

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