GENETIC VARIATION OF TEAK MISTLETOE (Dendrophthoe pentandra (L.) MIQ.) BASED ON RANDOM AMPLIFIED POLYMORPHIC DNA (RAPD) MARKERS
Keywords:Dendrophthoe pentandra, genetic variation, mistletoe, RAPD, teak
Mistletoes are hemiparasitic macroparasite plants which interfere with trees and other wild plants in nutrient acquisition. As the plant has low leaf water potential, it draws water from teak wood tissues during the deciduous stage of the teak host, thereby killing the twigs and eventually, the teak tree. Mistletoes are also a key player in plant diversity. Therefore, the mistletoe population needs to be regulated not only as a parasite but also as a keystone species affecting biodiversity. Knowledge scarcity on the status of mistletoes includes its genetic variation. Hence, the purpose of this study is to analyze the level of genetic variation of teak mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) using RAPD marker. At Padangan teak Clonal Seed Orchard (CSO), it was randomly collected leaf samples from three layers of the mistletoeâ€™s crown (upper, middle, and below) were taken from five host teak trees randomly selected from each of the sub-observation measure plots (OMP). Four OMP units inside the observation sample plots (OSP) (n = 3, 50 x 50 m) at different levels of infestation (light, moderate and heavy) were established. Analysis of the genetic variation and genetic distance of mistletoes hanging on the different crown layers were conducted using RAPD markers. The leaf samples from the crown layers, UU (upper crown and sub-section upper), UM (upper crown and sub-section middle), and UB (upper crown and sub-section below), which include U (upper crown) had significantly greater genetic variation (He = 0.181 â€“ 0.255) than those from M layer (middle crown, He = 0.227) and the B layer (below crown, He = 0.114). Furthermore, the widest genetic distance significantly occurred between the mistletoes of the UB and B crown layers (0.310), whereas the nearest genetic distance significantly occurred between mistletoes of UU and UM layers in the upper crown (0.038). Practical implications of the low genetic variation in this study include the control of mistletoe D. pentandra infestation by means of restricting its population so that Perhutani State Owned Forestry Enterprise can maintain the level of damage below the economic threshold.
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