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Microsatellite markers for assessing genetic diversity of the medicinal plant Paris polyphylla var. chinensis (Trilliaceae)

Author(s): J.Y. Zheng, H. Wang, X.X. Chen, P. Wang, P. Gao, X.N. Li and G.P. Zhu

Paris polyphylla var. chinensis is a perennial herb with medicinal properties that is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, this plant has been on the edge of extinction during the last few decades because of excessive deforestation based on the intense ethnopharmaceutical interest. We isolated 12 microsatellite loci from a (CT)n-enriched genomic library of P. polyphylla var. chinensis. The polymorphism at each locus was analyzed by screening 30 individuals from a natural population. The number of alleles ranged from 2 to 5. The observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.000 to 0.467, with a mean of 0.247, and from 0.383 to 0.662 with a mean of 0.537, respectively. Six loci (Pp1, Pp3, Pp6, Pp7, Pp9, and Pp12) were found to significantly deviate from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. This may be due to the small population size, inbreeding or null alleles. Five of the pairwise comparisons (Pp1 and Pp4, Pp2 and Pp5, Pp2 and Pp9, Pp2 and Pp12, Pp11 and Pp12) exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium (P < 0.05). We conclude that these microsatellite markers will be useful for population genetic studies of P. polyphylla var. chinensis.