Main content area

Relationship between chemotypic and genetic diversity of natural populations of Artemisia herba-alba Asso growing wild in Tunisia

Younsi, Faten, Rahali, Najoua, Mehdi, Sameh, Boussaid, Mohamed, Messaoud, Chokri
Phytochemistry 2018 v.148 pp. 48-56
Artemisia herba-alba, acetates, camphor, chemotypes, essential oils, ex situ conservation, genetic markers, genetic variation, habitats, intraspecific variation, microsatellite repeats, oils, population structure, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, Tunisia
A total of 80 individuals collected from eight populations growing wild in different geographic zones were considered to assess the intraspecific variability of essential oil composition, genetic diversity and population structure of Artemisia herba-alba.The essential oil composition varied significantly between populations. Essential oil profiles were classified into four chemotypes (trans-sabinyl acetate, α-thujone/trans-sabinyl acetate, camphor and α-thujone/camphor/β-thujone). Despite significant correlation between the amount of some essential oil compounds and a set of climatic data, the global chemical divergence among populations was not related to their bioclimatic and geographic appurtenances.A high level of genetic diversity within populations was revealed either with RAPD and ISSR markers (Na = 1.67, PPL = 66.5%, H = 0.26, I = 0.38 and Na = 1.7, PPL = 69.8%, H = 0.26, I = 0.38, respectively). The level of genetic diversity varied across populations and chemotypes. Populations from the α-thujone/trans-sabinyl acetate chemotype exhibited the highest genetic diversity as revealed by the RAPD markers. However, populations from α-thujone/camphor/β-thujone chemotype showed the important genetic variation determined by ISSR markers. A significant genetic differentiation among populations and among chemotypes was detected.The combined analysis showed a significant correlation (r = 0.484, p = .032) between the chemical and molecular markers. The PCA, performed on percentages of major oil compounds and the frequencies of polymorphic RAPD and ISSR bands, divided populations according to their chemotypic classification.Taking into consideration the current situation of A. herba-alba populations and their endangered habitats, these results are of value in order to ensure the in-situ and ex-situ conservation of this medicinal species.