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A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

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Author(s): Ibrahim A. Arif | Mohammad A. Bakir | Haseeb A. Khan | Ahmad H. Al Farhan | Ali A. Al Homaidan | Ali H. Bahkali | Mohammad Al Sadoon | Mohammad Shobrak

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 11;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 2079;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: molecular diversity | DNA fingerprinting | plant species | conservation genetics

ABSTRACT
Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species.

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