Molecular characterisation of Solanum melongena L. and the crop wild relatives, S. violaceum Ortega and S. torvum Sw., using phylogenetic/DNA barcoding markers

  • Aishah TegallyEmail author
  • Yasmina Jaufeerally-Fakim
  • Mohammad Ehsan Dulloo
Short Communication


The Leptostemonum clade (Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum Bitter) species Solanum melongena L. (the aubergine) is an economically important crop which requires the acquisition of adaptive traits, potentially from its wild relatives of the same clade, to reduce its susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stress. The application of matK, rbcL, psbA-trnH and ITS2 to Leptostemonum clade phylogeny and DNA barcoding is not documented. In this study, PCR amplification and direct sequencing of these markers from S. melongena, S. violaceum Ortega and S. torvum Sw., with commonly used primers, were tested. The four DNA regions were amplified from these species. matK, rbcL and psbA-trnH were successfully sequenced. Unlike rbcL, matK and psbA-trnH could singly produce species-specific groups in phylogenetic analyses, which showed species relationships consistent with those from previously published phylogenies determined using other chloroplast and nuclear DNA regions. The phylogeny from matK+psbA-trnH exhibited high bootstrap support for the S. melongena group as well as intraspecific resolution within S. violaceum. In the context of testing the use of DNA barcoding to discriminate between S. violaceum and S. anguivi Lam., interspecific and intraspecific p-distances for matK, rbcL and psbA-trnH in these two species were compared. No barcode gap or diagnostic character was found, thus eliminating these three markers as potential DNA barcodes to discriminate between S. violaceum and S. anguivi.


Solanum melongena Solanum violaceum Solanum torvum Solanum anguivi Phylogenetics DNA barcoding 



We are grateful to the Tertiary Education Commission of Mauritius for a TEC MPhil/PhD Scholarship to the first author, and to the University of Mauritius for supporting this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Food Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of MauritiusRéduitMauritius
  2. 2.Bioversity InternationalRomeItaly

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