Morphological, phytochemical and molecular characterization of intraspecific variability of wormwood (<em>Artemisia absinthium</em> L.)
AbstractA trial with nine wormwood accessions was installed to carry out a systematic evaluation of intraspecific diversity. Six morphological features, essential oil (EO) yield and thujone content were measured. Besides, 11 RAPD and 15 ISSR molecular markers were tested to determine the genetic diversity of the accessions. The experiment was carried out in open field in 2016.
Accession “Pákozd” exhibited largest growth (64.9 cm) and genotype “Norwegen” was the smallest (29.9 cm). This latter accession had also the smallest but thickest leaves. Concerning morphological features, the Norwegian population was the most homogenous one (CV%: 10.6-20.1) while “Belgin” brought about largest variability (CV%: 18.4-45.3).
Based on EO yield, the studied accessions were divided into three significantly diverse groups. The highest yield was produced by “Spanish” accession (3.215 ml/100 g), “Norwegen” and “Belgien” produced medium values (1.569-1.892 ml/100 g) and six accessions showed EO yields below 1% (0.349-0.832 ml/100 g). Three acces-sions (“Leipzig”, “Belgien” and “Norwegen”) had high amount of thujone in the oil (50-89%) while in all other accessions thujones were absent or present only below 1%. “Belgien” accession had balanced ratio of α- and β-thujones while in the other ones β-thujone was the absolute main component.
High polymorphism was found among the wormwood accessions also by molecular markers: 81.15% for RAPD and 73.10% for ISSR primers. Based on the Nei’s genetic distances the three groups of genotypes were identical to those in the case of EO yield.
The study confirmed the large intraspecific variability of wormwood but revealed that it is not definitely connected to geographical origin of the populations.
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