Research Report

Genetic Diversity of African Mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn.) Accessions from Selected Plant Hosts Using Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) Gene  

A.N. Osuagwu , V. C. Oparaugo , E. E. Ekerette
Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2019, Vol. 9, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2019.09.0002
Received: 01 Jul., 2019    Accepted: 18 Aug., 2019    Published: 17 Sep., 2019
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Osuagwu A.N., Oparaugo V.C., and Ekerette E.E., 2019, Genetic diversity of African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn.) accessions from selected plant hosts using Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) gene, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 9(2): 9-15 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2019.09.0002)


African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn.) is a parasitic plant which has shown to contain biologically active agents that have disease curing effects on humans. The present study aimed at evaluating the genetic diversity of L. micranthus accessions established on selected plant host based on ITS gene. 9 samples were selected for PCR amplification and sequencing of the its1 and its4 regions. The results revealed 104 and 89 polymorphic sites for its1 and its4 respectively. Haplotype diversity of 0.971+0.064 and nucleotide diversity 0.174+0.071 were recorded in its1 while haplotype diversity of 0.917+0.092 and nucleotide diversity of 0.231+0.027 were recorded in its4. Phylogenetic analysis grouped the samples into 2 clusters based on the its regions. A high genetic distance (0.597) for its1 was obtained between samples from Pepper fruit and samples obtained from other host trees (African apple, Avocado and Monkey kola) while a low genetic distance (0.000) was obtained between C. apiculatum (LMV9) and African apple host (LMV4). The highest genetic distance (0.827) for its4 was obtained between C. apiculatum (LMV9) and African apple host (LMV4) while the lowest genetic distance (0.000) was obtained between Rubber hosts (LMV1, LMV2) and Pepper fruit host (LMV8). The results revealed some genetic diversity amongst the mistletoe grown on different hosts suggesting that host trees and geographical location might contribute to genetic diversity. It also showed that its1 and 4 regions differ in their variation discernment pattern in mistletoe and similar studies can be conducted in larger populations to accurately link genetic similarity/variation to host specificity and geographical origins.

Its gene; Loranthus micranthus; Genetic diversity; Phylogeny; Polymorphic sites
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International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity
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