Genetic Assessment of Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and its Wild Crop Relatives in the Philippines through DNA Barcoding
Keywords:DNA barcoding, nITS2, matK, rbcL, Solanum
Previous eggplant diversity studies in the Philippines have utilizedmorphological and molecular markers to ascertain their genetic
relationship. Since these studies were able to highlight only the relationship of the cultivated eggplant species, it is now becoming
relevant to also look into the genetic relationship between the cultivated eggplant varieties and its wild crop relatives found in the country. In this study, DNA barcoding was done on eggplant and on its wild crop relatives to elucidate their genetic and taxonomic relationships. Only the phylogenetic tree constructed from matK gene sequences that successfully discriminated the studied Solanum species based on their taxonomic classification. Therefore, matK gene was perceived to be an efficient DNA barcode in discriminating Solanum species. Nonetheless, there was an observed close genetic affinity between S. aethiopicum
and S. melongena in all generated phylogenetic trees with bootstrap values ranging from 52-88. These results are instrumental in elucidating the diversity of Solanum species.