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Molecular analysis in medicinally important species Carum carvi and Bunium persicum (family Apiaceae) from District Astore

Munam Zehra, Abdul Razaq and Imtiaz Ahmed Khan

Mountain areas of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is especially rich in medicinal plant species but unfortunately not much genetic analysis work has been conducted on various medicinally important species native to the area. Two plant species of family Apiaceae viz., Bunium persicum (black cumin or kala zeera) and Carum carvi (cumin or zeera)  are medicinally important species of Gilgit Baltistan and have been used by local communities as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic / antimutagenic, to treat heart problems, thatching and Roofing, spice, condiments and perfumes / breath freshener / lotions industries etc.  Plant material was collected from two locations viz., (i) district Astore (considered as low altitude approximately; 2500 (m.a.s.l.) and (ii) Deosai plateau (considered as high altitude; approximately 4000 (m.a.s.l.). Morphological, biochemical and DNA based markers were used for the first time to estimate genetic diversity in the two species. Two species collected from low and high altitudes showed significant differences for the morphological characters such as plant height, number of branches, canopy area and seed weight. Total seed protein concentration was estimated using UV spectrophotometry. Average seed protein in the two species ranged from 5.59 to 13.05%. Seed protein banding pattern was studied using SDS-PAGE. Seeds of Carum carvi collected from high altitude  showed an extra band which could be used as species specific protein band in furhter charactrization and better understanding of txonomic classification of the species.  Twenty two Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA primers were used for the estimation of genetic distances among the two species.  Minimum genetic distance among Bunium persicum and Carum carvi estimated was 34% (GLD03 and GLK03) while maximum genetic distance among the two species was 100% revealed by 9 RAPD primers viz., GL -A02, -B06, -C01, -D04, -E02, -G07, H09, -K04 and -K09.  On an average the two species from the family Apiaceae showed 81% genetic distance

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