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Ficus palmatais a very potent medicinal and multipurpose plant which has gained global significance due to medicinal and multipurpose utility. It bears deep violet to black berries which are known to human beings from centuries for their effects on health. The plant is wildly distributed throughout Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The phylogenetic relationship among these natural Ficus palmata ecotypes from Azad Jammu and Kashmir is not established so for using reliable molecular markers. ISSR has been proved to be an effective tool for the determination of phylogenetic relationship among closely related species. To construct a population level genetic profile for investigation and exploitation of genetic diversity of Ficus palmata, 25 ecotypes of Ficus palmata in AJK were analyzed using ISSR (Inter simple sequence repeats) markers. Phylogenetic distance estimated revealed that the ecotypes expressed common heritage for their phylogenetic relationship with a considerable genetic diversity among them as well. Quite a few Ecotypes showed close relationship irrespective of their geographic distances and morphological attributes. The research evolved a significant outcome to start a breeding program from the evolution of Ficus palmata varieties for the mountain areas of Azad Kashmir.
Keywords: Ficus palmata; ISSR; Ecotypes; Genetic diversity