MOLECULAR CHARACTERISTICS OF OPUNTIAS BASED ON INTERNAL TRANSCRIBED SPACER SEQUENCES (ITS) OF QUERETARO STATE - MEXICO
The cactus pear has great importance in human feeding in Mexico and also for export of fruits. Around 8000 years ago in Mexico, Opuntia was domesticated for human consumption. The high capacity of prickly-pear cactus for vegetative propagation has contributed to its wide-spread distribution, even to the extent of becoming a weed. In secondary diversification areas of introduction, the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of Opuntia were modified. Studies using biosystematics and morphology demonstrated a relationship with other Opuntoideae. The internal transcribed spacer region nuclear ribosomal DNA was sequenced in 17 species for phylogeny. These findings indicate that the ITS region in Opuntoideae should be further exploited as a promising source of nuclear phylogeny markers for Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Mill), Opuntia robusta, Opuntia albicarpa, Opuntia streptacantha although this last one is not well characterized in this study. The need of larger studies with molecular and morphologic markers in these species is very important. The results of phylogeny analysis of Opuntia species suggests a new revision in the taxonomy mainly when we observed that a very big group was formed with several cactus pear cultivars and that makes us to conclude in this study that these plants can be possible hybrids which is a difficulty of characterizing in a safe way the species of the family Opuntiodeae.
de Lyra, M.C.C.P., Santos, D.C., da Silva, M.L.R.B., Mondragón-Jacobo, C. and Martínez-Romero, E. (2013). MOLECULAR CHARACTERISTICS OF OPUNTIAS BASED ON INTERNAL TRANSCRIBED SPACER SEQUENCES (ITS) OF QUERETARO STATE - MEXICO. Acta Hortic. 995, 27-34
Opuntioideae, taxonomy, hybrid, molecular markers, prickly-pear cactus