Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 2209–2219 | Cite as

Genetic relationships among subspecies of Capparis spinosa L. from Tunisia by using ISSR markers

  • Awatef Rhimi
  • Sameh Mnasri
  • Rayda Ben AyedEmail author
  • Imen Bel Hajj Ali
  • Sonia Hjaoujia
  • Mohamed Boussaid
Original Article


In Tunisia, Capparis spinosa L. is widely distributed in different geographic areas. Although it has been extensively studied morphologically, the phylogenetic relationships by using molecular markers among Capparis taxa are still unclear. The Inter-Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR) molecular markers were used to assess the genetic relationship of this species cultivated in the North and the South of Tunisia. Fifteen ISSR primers were analyzed to characterize the genetic profiles of 67 different genotypes. The ISSR markers produced 108 bands ranging from 4 (ISSR8) to 11 (IAM12 and ISSR16) with an average of 7.2. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.43 to 0.95 for ISSR7 and IAM12, respectively. The Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) ranged from 0.48 at the UBC808 to 0.85 at IAM12 and eight loci could be classified as useful for genetic mapping (PIC > 0.7). The genetic diversity within a population was high and varied according to the subspecies and bioclimatic zones. Both UPGMA (Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean) and PCoA (Principal Coordinate Analysis) analyses showed that populations from each subspecies grouped together. However, the structure analysis generated more groups than the PCoA plot and UPGMA, which revealed the mixed allelic of the species Capparis spinosa in Tunisia.


C. spinosa subsp. spinosa C. spinosa subsp. rupestris Natural populations Genetic diversity ISSR markers Bioclimatic zones 



The authors thank the National Genes Bank of Tunisia Institute and Mss Siwar Nsiri for her comments on an early version of manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies conducted on human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Awatef Rhimi
    • 1
  • Sameh Mnasri
    • 1
  • Rayda Ben Ayed
    • 2
    Email author
  • Imen Bel Hajj Ali
    • 3
  • Sonia Hjaoujia
    • 1
  • Mohamed Boussaid
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant BiotechnologyNational Gene Bank of Tunisia (NGBT)Tunis CedexTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Screening Processes, Genomics and Bioinformatics Group, Centre of Biotechnology of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Centre Urbain NordNational Institute of Applied Sciences and Technologies (INSAT)Tunis CedexTunisia

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