Genetic diversity of Eurycoma longifolia inferred from single nucleotide polymorphisms

Plant Physiol. 2003 Mar;131(3):1294-301. doi: 10.1104/pp.012492.


Eurycoma longifolia Jack. is a treelet that grows in the forests of Southeast Asia and is widely used throughout the region because of its reported medicinal properties. Widespread harvesting of wild-grown trees has led to rapid thinning of natural populations, causing a potential decrease in genetic diversity among E. longifolia. Suitable genetic markers would be very useful for propagation and breeding programs to support conservation of this species, although no such markers currently exist. To meet this need, we have applied a genome complexity reduction strategy to identify a series of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genomes of several E. longifolia accessions. We have found that the occurrence of these SNPs reflects the geographic origins of individual plants and can distinguish different natural populations. This work demonstrates the rapid development of molecular genetic markers in species for which little or no genomic sequence information is available. The SNP markers that we have developed in this study will also be useful for identifying genetic fingerprints that correlate with other properties of E. longifolia, such as high regenerability or the appearance of bioactive metabolites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods
  • Eurycoma / genetics*
  • Eurycoma / metabolism
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Plant
  • Genotype
  • Malaysia
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants, Medicinal / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers