Identification of novel microsatellite markers for Saraca asoca, a medicinally important tree species in India.

Sumangala R. C., Shaanker R. U., Dayanandan S., Vasudeva R. and Ravikanth G. 2013 Identification of novel microsatellite mark-ers for Saraca asoca, a medicinally important tree species in India. J. Genet. 92, e93–e95.
Sumangala R. C., Uma Shaanker R, Dayanandhan S, Vasudeva R, and Ravikanth G.
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Vol. 92, Online Resources
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Journal of Genetics

Saraca asoca (Roxb.) Wilde (Caesalpiniaceae) is a medicinally important and globally vulnerable plant species found in the evergreen forests of India (Thakur et al. 1989). S. asoca, commonly known as Ashoka tree, is considered as one of the sacred trees of India and is highly prized for its beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers. Almost all parts of the tree are known to have important medicinal properties including antiviral (Hattori et al. 1995), oxytotic (Satyavati et al. 1970), menorrhagic, anti-HIV (Kusumoto et al. 1995) and antibacterial activities (Annapurna et al. 1999). The flower extract is commonly used in diabetes and cancer treatments (Anonymous 1952; Mukherji et al. 1970; Verghese et al. 1992). Overharvesting of S. asoca due to its high medicinal value along with high deforestation rates, habitat fragmentation and illegal encroachments of its natural habitats have resulted in severe reduction in natural populations of this species (Gowda et al. 2002). This species is currently listed as a ‘globally vulnerable’ species by the IUCN ( In this paper, we report identification of novel microsatellite markers and discuss the utility of these markers in addressing questions related to the population genetics of this species.Ten microsatellite markers were identified in this species.

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Dr. G Ravikanth
Dr R Uma Shaanker
Biotechnological Interventions for conservation and utilization of forest resources. Funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) New Delhi.
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