3 Biotech

, 8:217 | Cite as

Impact of geography on adaptation of Phyllanthus amarus seeds

  • Karthik Sankar Narayan
  • Edwin Raj Esack
  • Parthasarathy Radhapriya
  • Venkatesh Babu Gopal
  • Sakthivel Muthu
  • Palani Perumal
Original Article


The present study was aimed to evaluate adaptive mechanism in terms of seed characters of Phyllanthus amarus collected from ten different locations of Tamil Nadu, India. The adaptive variations among the collected populations were assessed based on the sink and float percentages of the seeds in water, the percentage of seed germination, total protein, carbohydrates and their seedling’s growth ability such as shoot and root lengths. From this, we observed that the population had a significantly higher germination percentage of sinking seeds that were attributed to its relatively higher carbohydrate and protein contents than the floating seeds. A comparison of the seed population by cluster analysis and principal coordinate analysis showed that the Chennai population constituted a single clade that was very distinct from the other nine populations, which were further grouped into two sub-clusters. They exhibited a trend consistent with their geographical proximity. Standardised Mantel’s t tests had revealed that the adaptive diversity of the P. amarus population was significantly affected by the geographic distance (r = 0.78, t = 2.68, P > 0.001), altitude (r = 0.35, t = 21.53, P > 0.05), minimum temperature (r = 0.43, t = 1.49, P > 0.01) and maximum temperature (r = 0.49, t = 1.67, P > 0.001). Seed’s characteristics and geographical conditions were correlated along with 19 bioclimatic variables. In dry season, the seedling’s rooting ability showed positive correlation, while its protein content exhibited a negative correlation. It is clearly evident from this study that the geographical variables significantly influence the adaptive ability of the P. amarus.


Phyllanthus amarus Geographic variation Mantel’s t test PCoA analysis Population diversity 



Our team would like to thank Mr. Sridhar, Mr. Lakshman and Mr. Ezkiel Raj for their help in the preparation of field bed to grow the Phyllanthus amarus seeds for ex situ studies. The first author is thankful to the land owners for giving details and permission to collect this plant, and we are also grateful to UGC-CPEPA, New Delhi, India, for providing financial support to carry out this work.

Author contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: PP, SNK. Performed the experiments: SNK, MS. Analysed the data: EER, PR. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: GVB, EER, MS. Wrote the paper: SNK, PP.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no conflict of interest in the publication.

Supplementary material

13205_2018_1236_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2381 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Studies in BotanyUniversity of Madras, Guindy CampusChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Plant Physiology and Biotechnology DivisionUPASI Tea Research Foundation, Tea Research InstituteCoimbatoreIndia

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