Vol.21. Nos.1(2022) p8-21


Genetic diversity and structure of Ochlandra travancorica populations from Kerala part of the Western Ghats


Sijimol K . Sreekumar V.B . Suma Arun Dev


Abstract: Ochlandra travancorica is one of the eco- nomically important endemic reed bamboos of the Western Ghats. They are indiscriminately harvested for commercial usage in paper, pulp, and traditional cottage industries. This has drastically affected its viable populations in the Western Ghats. SSR markers were employed for characterizing the selected natural population to assess genetic diversity and infer genetic structure in their natural distribution range. The marker analysis revealed existence of high genetic diversity in sampled populations of O. travancorica (He=0.834, I=2.092). Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that a large proportion of genetic variation (84 %) is confined within the populations and only 16 percent was observed between populations. The pattern of genetic admixture generated in STRUCTURE analysis revealed high level of substructuring of populations. This might be due to close proximities of populations and high amount of gene flow (Nm=1.456) among them. Genetically diverse populations as indicated by number of, private alleles, gene diversity, heterozygosity and polymorphic content in different geographical areas indicate the need for ex situ conservation and genetic improvement programmes. Periyar and Malayatoor populations with significant genetic admixtures can also be recommended for resource conservation of reed bamboo species.


endemic, microsatellites, Ochlandra, population genetics, Western Ghats