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DNA barcoding based on plastid matK and RNA polymerase for assessing the genetic identity of date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars

Author(s): M.R. Enan and A. Ahmed

The cultivated date palm is the most agriculturally important species of the Arecaceae family. The standard chloroplast DNA barcode for land plants recommended by the Consortium for the Barcode of Life plant working group needs to be evaluated for a wide range of plant species. Therefore, we assessed the potential of the matK and rpoC1 markers for the authentication of date cultivars. There is not one universal method to authenticate date cultivars. In this study, 11 different date cultivars were sequenced and analyzed for matK and rpoC1 genes by using bioinformatic tools to establish a cultivarspecific molecular monogram. The chloroplast matK marker was more informative than the rpoC1 chloroplast DNA markers. Phylogenetic trees were constructed on the basis of the matK and rpoC1 sequences, and the results suggested that matK alone or in combination with rpoC1 can be used for determining the levels of genetic variation and for barcoding.