Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) has acquired a great importance as a renewable source of energy with a number of environmental benefits. Very few attempts were made to understand the extent of genetic diversity and its distribution. This study was aimed to study the diversity and deduce the phylogeography of Jatropha curcas L. which is said to be the most primitive species of the genus Jatropha. Here we studied the intraspecific genetic diversity of the species distributed in different parts of the globe. The study also focused to understand the molecular diversity at reported probable center of origin (Mexico), and to reveal the dispersal route to other regions based on random amplified polymorphic DNA, amplified fragment length polymorphism and nrDNA-ITS sequences data. The overall genetic diversity of J. curcas found in the present study was narrow. The highest genetic diversity was observed in the germplasm collected from Mexico and supports the earlier hypothesis based on morphological data and natural distribution, it is the center for origin of the species. Least genetic diversity found in the Indian germplasm and clustering results revealed that the species was introduced simultaneously by two distinct germplasm and subsequently distributed in different parts of India. The present molecular data further revealed that J. curcas might have spread from the center of the origin to Cape Verde, than to Spain, Portuguese to other neighboring countries and simultaneously to Africa. The molecular evidence supports the Burkill et al. (A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula, Governments of Malaysia and Singapore by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1966) view of Portuguese might have introduced the species to India. The clustering pattern suggests that the distribution was interfered by human activity. © Springer Science+Business Media 2014.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology