Genetic System of Artemisia maritima L.: An Overexploited Medicinal Species Under Stress
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Artemisia maritima L., a potent source of Santonin (a drug used to expel roundworms), forms isolated populations in Kishtwar area (1760 m asl) of J&K state, India, in north-west Himalayas. Once a luxuriantly growing plant, the species has seen a decline in its distribution in the recent past in the area of study. While the overexploitation is an obvious reason for the same, the authors studied in detail its meiotic and breeding system, to identify intrinsic factors, if any. The plant is a stable diploid (2n = 18) and is predominantly outcrossed. It exhibits both anemophily as well as entomophily. Seed set on open pollination is adequate (78.38 ± 2.28%) in dense populations (n = 220). In case the outcrossing fails, the species keeps provision for selfing also, a feature rare in genus Artemisia L. However, selfing results in extremely low fruit set (20.8%) depicting inbreeding depression. Enforced selfing can thus be cited as one of the major intrinsic factors reducing the propagation of this species.
KeywordsArtemisia maritima Anemophily Entomophily Inbreeding depression Selfing
One of the authors is thankful to UGC-SAP for financial assistance.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this manuscript.
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