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Population genetic diversity of Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe - a conservation prioritised medicinal plant in Bangladesh

Islam, M.A., Kloppstech, K., Esch, E.
Conservation genetics 2005 v.6 no.6 pp. 1027-1033
Curcuma zedoaria, anthropogenic activities, genetic variation, habitat destruction, horticulture, medicinal plants, multidimensional scaling, plateaus, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, Bangladesh
Curcuma zedoaria (Christm.) Roscoe, a member of the family Zingiberaceae, is one of the most widely distributed Curcuma species in Bangladesh. It is a well-known and important species because of its medicinal and horticultural values. However, some plant populations are predicted to be depleted due to habitat destruction and due to extensive collection by local inhabitants. In order to estimate the level of genetic diversity within and between natural populations, RAPD analyses were performed using individual plants from different populations. We used Shannon's index to partition genetic diversity which clearly demonstrated that hilly populations of Srimangal, Chittagong and Sitakundu maintain rather higher genetic diversity than that of plain land and plateau land populations of Savar and Birganj, respectively. We found a high intrapopulational (H'pop/H'sp) genetic diversity of 0.717 that was higher than the interpopulation diversity G ST[(H'sp-H'pop)/H'sp] value of 0.283. Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) showed that individuals of the hilly populations were combined in one group, separated from the plain land and plateau land populations. From a conservation point of view, our results suggest that special attention should be kept on the small populations of plain and plateau lands that are critically threatened due to high anthropogenic activities.