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Molecular phylogeny and evolution of tropical vegetal genus Coccinia (Cucurbitaceae) using chloroplast barcode markers and its implications for speciation patterns

Mala Parab, Payel De, Sunita Singh


Evaluation of molecular phylogeny employing barcode markers for a population analysis has revealed the association between character evolution and diversification. The present research study endeavors to estimate the molecular phylogeny and evolution amongst 30 geographically distant land races of Coccinia grandis using chloroplast barcode markers. On the basis of sequences of ­C. grandis landraces and sister genera’s of Cucurbits; phylogeny and evolutionary distances were estimated using bootstrap method of UPGMA and ML with MEGA and DAMBE software. The rbcL appear to be evolving marginally amongst land races studied, while matK loci exhibited several parsimonically insignificant variations. The ycf5 locus resolved efficiently the phylogeny at both intraspecies and intergeneric levels. The values of Tajima’s relative rate test, Nei’s genetic distance and gamma distribution, within C. grandis accessions and among Cucurbits denoted plausibility of occurrences of random population expansion, slow ontogenic transitions and high consanguinity percentage among core barcode regions.The present study thus lays a platform for researchers working with vegetatively propagated plants to plan strategies for exchange of varieties, their maintenance, utilization and enhancement for further crop development and propagation.


Coccinia grandis, character evolution, diversification, phylogeny, genetic distance

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