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Open AccessArticle

Genetic, Morphological, and Biochemical Diversity of Argan Tree (Argania spinosa L.) (Sapotaceae) in Tunisia

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Université de Tunis El Manar, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Immunologie et Biotechnologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Tunis 2092, Tunisia
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Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul University, 34134 Istanbul, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(9), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090319
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 1 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Phylogenetics)
Argan trees are normally endemic to Morocco and Algeria, but hundreds of argan trees exist in Tunisia, some introduced from Morocco and some from unknown origins. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the genetic, morphological, and biochemical diversity of the argan trees in Tunisia. In this study, we used morphometric data collected from vegetative tissue, as well as pomological characteristics related to fruits, stones, and kernels. Genetic variation in 60 trees of Tunisian Argania spinosa L. was estimated using inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs). Mutation screening and genotyping by high-resolution melting (HRM) was performed to detect delta-6-desaturase (D6D) variants in the tested individuals, and finally fatty acid analysis of argan leaves with gas chromatography (GC) was performed. The plant materials used in this study originated from four different sites in Tunisia. Analysis of morphological characteristics showed large variability both within and between the studied collections. The analysis of ISSR polymorphisms gave information about the diversity within and between populations. HRM analysis showed that all 60 argan individuals were grouped into 10 different categories. The results of the gas chromatography analysis showed that the presence of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA was noticeable in some argan leaves. View Full-Text
Keywords: Argania spinosa; Tunisia; genetic diversity; morphological variability; HRM; fatty acid analysis; EPA; DHA; ISSR Argania spinosa; Tunisia; genetic diversity; morphological variability; HRM; fatty acid analysis; EPA; DHA; ISSR
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Louati, M.; Ucarli, C.; Arikan, B.; Ghada, B.; Salhi Hannachi, A.; Turgut-Kara, N. Genetic, Morphological, and Biochemical Diversity of Argan Tree (Argania spinosa L.) (Sapotaceae) in Tunisia. Plants 2019, 8, 319.

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