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Genet Mol Res. 2013 Mar 11;12(1):723-30. doi: 10.4238/2013.March.11.21.

Assessment of phylogenetic relationship of rare plant species collected from Saudi Arabia using internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

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Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


The rare and endangered plants of any country are important genetic resources that often require urgent conservation measures. Assessment of phylogenetic relationships and evaluation of genetic diversity is very important prior to implementation of conservation strategies for saving rare and endangered plant species. We used internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA for the evaluation of sequence identity from the available taxa in the GenBank database by using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). Two rare plant species viz, Heliotropium strigosum claded with H. pilosum (98% branch support) and Pancratium tortuosum claded with P. tenuifolium (61% branch support) clearly. However, some species, viz Scadoxus multiflorus, Commiphora myrrha and Senecio hadiensis showed close relationships with more than one species. We conclude that nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer sequences are useful markers for phylogenetic study of these rare plant species in Saudi Arabia.

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