Molecular Characterization of Regionally Endangered Tree Species Mimusops laurifolia (Forssk.) Friis (Sapotaceae)

  •  Sameera Bafeel    
  •  Abdullah Alaklabi    
  •  Ibrahim Arif    
  •  Haseeb Khan    
  •  Ahmad Alfarhan    
  •  Anis Ahamed    
  •  Jacob Thomas    
  •  Mohammad Bakir    


Mimusops laurifolia (Forssk.) Friis is the largest tree species in the Arabian Peninsula and a characteristic species of the threatened 100 individuals that currently remained only at eleven localities. We determined the rbcL (ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit) gene sequence, current phylogenetic status and RAPD (Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA) fingerprinting pattern of this regionally endangered plant species. Overall rbcL gene sequence similarity among the 18 plant species under the family Sapotaceae was very high (99.8%). The plastid rbcL gene sequence of M. laurifolia was identical to that of M. zeyheri indicating that M. laurifolia and M. zeyheri are very closely related plant species. M. laurifolia also showed close phylogenetic relation with Argania spinosa (99.6%). The RAPD profiles of M. laurifolia generated amplified products ranging from 517 to 1664 bp. A total of 11 bands were observed for M. laurifolia for 3 RAPD-primers. Morphological taxonomy of M. laurifolia and it’s differential characters with similar plant species M. zeyheri are also briefly discussed in this study.

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