, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1083–1101 | Cite as

Genetic diversity studies in endangered desert teak [Tecomella undulata (Sm) Seem] using arbitrary (RAPD), semi-arbitrary (ISSR) and sequence based (nuclear rDNA) markers

  • Sidhika Chhajer
  • Aravind Kumar Jukanti
  • R. K. Bhatt
  • Rajwant K. KaliaEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Ecological Genetics


Key message

Substantial genetic diversity exists in the natural populations of desert teak which needs to be conserved in-situ as well as ex-situ to ensure sustainable utilization and survival of this endangered tree.


Tecomella undulata (Sm) Seem (family bignoniaceae) is a medicinally important agroforestry tree yielding quality timber commercially known as desert teak. This slow growing tree found in hot arid regions of western Rajasthan is used to treat various ailments and disorders. This monotypic genus with three colour morphotypes is also used for phytoremediation of soils, biosorptive removal of inorganic salts, synthesis of silver nanoparticles, rehabilitation of lignite mine backfills and as bio-fertilizer. This multifaceted tree is heading towards extinction due to over exploitation, unscientific management and negligible plantation efforts. No initiatives have been undertaken to conserve, domesticate or genetically improve this pharmacologically important timber tree. An attempt was made to analyze the genetic variability existing in western Rajasthan, the natural hub of this species, using RAPD, ISSR and rDNA markers for the first time. The RAPD markers (69.05%) detected polymorphism more efficiently compared to ISSR (61.76%) among the 119 samples belonging to 22 populations. Likewise, average number of amplicons, polymorphic amplicons and polymorphism information content (PIC) were more for RAPD (11.25, 7.95 and 0.52, respectively) than for ISSR (10.4, 6.45 and 0.40) markers. The percent variability within and between populations varied among ISSR (64 and 36%, respectively) and RAPD (71 and 29%) markers. A positive correlation coefficient (r) of 0.402 was observed between RAPD and ISSR markers. The UPGMA dendrogram separated the samples into 13 (RAPD) and 11(ISSR) clusters with one out group each. At places, associations based on corolla colour, climatic, and geographical proximity were also recorded at subgroup levels. The single distinct amplicon (~ 650 bp) of 5.8S gene region showed a uniform nucleotide length of 163 bp for the conserved 5.8S rDNA region while length variations were for observed in ITS-1 (223 to 226) and ITS-2 (238 to 242) regions. The phylogram delineated the 23 samples into 5 major clusters. Sufficient genetic variability recorded vide this study was conserved (8.5 kg winged seed from 317 trees) under long-term storage facility to ensure availability for futuristic breeding and improvement programs.


Arid region Endangered tree Genetic diversity RAPD markers rDNA markers Rohida ISSR markers 



Amplified fragment length polymorphism


Basic Local Alignment Search Tool


Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide


Inter Simple Sequence Repeat


Internal transcribed spacer


National Centre for Biotechnology Information


Principal coordinates analysis


Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA


Start codon targeted polymorphism



Authors acknowledge the research grant provided by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi, vide project no. BT/PR6558/PBD/16/998/2012.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Data archiving statement

The 23 nuclear rDNA sequences of Tecomella undulata having GenBank accession numbers KX096239–KX096261 are available in public domain (sample details provided in Table 7 of this manuscript).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidhika Chhajer
    • 1
  • Aravind Kumar Jukanti
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. K. Bhatt
    • 1
  • Rajwant K. Kalia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Plant Improvement and Pest ManagementICAR-Central Arid Zone Research InstituteJodhpurIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-Indian Institute for Rice ResearchHyderabadIndia

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