Title : Variation and diversity within wild moringa peregrina (forssk.) Fiori; seed size and shape
Background and Aims: The Moringa peregrina (Forssk.) Fiori is a neglected superfood plant with tremendous medicinal properties, naturally growing at shorelines of the Red Sea region. Limited information is available about the genetic resources and diversity of this tree, which is under threat due to severe biotic and abiotic factors in the region. The search for genetic diversity within a species usually depends on the geographical distribution studies for such plant species. This study aims to explore the variation and diversity found within the progeny of Moringa peregrina, based on the size and shape of its seeds.
Methods: Collected wild-type Moringa peregrina seeds were assorted according to its size and shape, analyzed for its moisture, protein, oil, minerals, total phenols, total flavonoids, protein, and germination rates. Germinated plants were evaluated for phenotypic characters and tissues, including leaves, roots, were analyzed for its minerals, protein, total phenols, and total flavonoids content. Tissues were subjected to callus generations, rooting, and shooting micropropagation experiments and DNA RAPD marker analysis.
Key Results: Analyzed plant tissues have shown qualitative and quantitative variations in their minerals, oil, and phytochemical contents, which are statistically significant and correlated with the seed size and shape. Moreover, germination, plant height, leaf morphology and clonal response to growth regulators were also variant according to seed size and shape. The molecular RAPD marker analysis have shown that the genetic material had similarities and distances among the seeds of different sizes and shapes.
Conclusions: Variation and diversity within wild-type Moringa peregrina species are found in its progeny, where seed size and shape are considered as indicator traits for genetic variation and diversity.