Genetic diversity, population structuring and expansion history of Coronilla scorpioides

Lamia Hakim1 , Souhir Kabtni1 , Dorra Sdouga1 , Neila Trifi-Farah1 , and Sonia Marghali1*
The Tunisian area flora has a diverse and interesting vegetation cover. To date, many species, however, are not sufficiently explored and properly exploited. Despite their medicinal potential, Coronilla scorpioides (L.) W.D.J. Koch species has still not been studied. In this study, we aim to investigate the genetic diversity and the population structuring of 10 Tunisian populations. Ten DNAs pooled represented the populations of C. scorpioides species are used in this molecular analysis. Bulked segregant analysis (BSA) was used in order to identify a genetic polymorphism associated to a specific trait by comparing DNA pools with contrasting phenotypes by sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. Moreover, 10 DNA samples for each population were examined by five retrotransposon-microsatellite amplified polymorphism (REMAP) combination in order to elucidate the genetic composition of this species. Our results suggested that C. scorpioides species have a high genetic diversity that can be related to their geographical distribution. This genetic richness could be the source of their agronomic variability in which two contrasted populations originated from Kairouan (P210 and P224) were genetically distinguished by the BSA-SRAP method. The occurrences of evolution were elucidated, and the ancestral populations were revealed. As the first research based on the genetic structuring and diversity of C. scorpioides, our finding illustrates the affluences' biodiversity of Tunisian area and the genetic richness of the studied species. This study could be the genetic guideline of C. scorpioides species that can be used to meet the needs of medicine and the national economy.
Keywords: BARE1, biodiversity, Coronilla scorpioides, genetic evolution, SRAP markers.
1 Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences Mathématiques Physiques et Naturelles de Tunis, LR99ES12, Campus Universitaire, 2092 Tunis, Tunisie. * Corresponding author (sonia.marghali@fst.utm.tn).