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Molecular and ecological investigations on the wild populations of Glycyrrhiza L. taxa distributed in the East Mediterranean Area of Turkey

Abstract

This paper covers studies on the molecular and ecological aspects of G. glabra var. glandulifera, G. flavescens ssp. flavescens and G. echinata collected from Hatay (Turkey); with the aim to better understand their genetic variation and ecological requirements for possible conservation programs. The material including total genomic DNA was extracted by the CTAB, and for PCR reaction, a total of 14 SSR primers developed for Medicago truncatula were used. PCR amplifications were performed in a Multigen® Thermal Cycler. Soil samples were analysed for their texture, pH, total soluble salts, calcium carbonate, total N content, total phosphorus and organic matter content. In order to see the association between genetic, ecological and geographical data, a similarity matrix was generated. Genetic similarity distances between genotypes were correlated with those of Eucledian distances obtained from ecological and geographical data. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was performed using GenAlEx 6.5 software to determine variation among and within genetic variations. The genetic analysis showed that the highest expected heterozygosity values were obtained from G. glabra while the lowest were obtained from G. echinata. In general heterozygosity values were low, especially for G. echinata. Therefore, variation appears to be lower within each species than among three species. The physical and chemical analysis of soil and plant samples indicates that mineral accumulation in plants is substantially affected by the soil characteristics. There is a need for identification of better strategies for the improvement of varieties, especially for small farmers managing marginal soils. More studies should be conducted in order to safeguard these taxa, especially G. glabra var. glandulifera which is collected intensively due to its economic value, the same is true for endemic taxon G. flavescens ssp. flavescens.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by Scientific Research Commission of Mustafa Kemal University (Project No: 1204 Y 0130). The authors also thank the staff of the Faculty of Modern languages, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for providing an English check to this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Volkan Altay or Munir Öztürk.

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Altay, V., Karahan, F., Öztürk, M. et al. Molecular and ecological investigations on the wild populations of Glycyrrhiza L. taxa distributed in the East Mediterranean Area of Turkey. J Plant Res 129, 1021–1032 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-016-0864-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-016-0864-6

Keywords

  • Glycyrrhiza
  • Molecular ecology
  • SSRs
  • East Mediterranean