Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Evaluation of diversity and conservation status of Matricaria chamomilla (L.) and Matricaria aurea (Loefl.) Sch. Bip. in Lebanon


Noura Soubra, Mariana M. Yazbek, Jihad Noun, Rabih Talhouk, Sabine Tanios and Nisrine Karam

Matricaria chamomilla (L.), and Matricaria aurea (Loefl.) Sch. Bip., are two threatened wild species commonly used for medicinal purposes in Lebanon. An eco-geographic study was conducted, by assessing the distribution pattern of the two species in Lebanon and their related genetic diversity, to guide conservation efforts. The constructed distribution maps identified two richness areas namely Iaat and Hawch El Sayed Ali. Threats assessment to both species included urbanization, agriculture, unsustainable harvesting, overgrazing, and drought. Thirty-two sites were evaluated using eco-geographical surveys, and genetic analysis was done using Start Codon Targeted Polymorphism (SCoT) marker analysis. Neighbor Joining analysis clustered populations into four distinct groups with a gene flow of 0.4365 and genetic differentiation from 0.121 to 0.191. Results revealed a clear geographical isolation among populations with low gene flow between distinct populations. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) clustered 119 individuals within their populations and grouped them following the same pattern as the Neighbor Joining tree. Calculation of Nei’s genetic diversity index revealed that genetic diversity in Mount Lebanon was lower than in the South. One area, Jezzine, appeared as the most genetically diverse and remained isolated. These findings indicate the need to develop a conservation strategy that would prevent the extinction of one of the most marketed medicinal and aromatic plants in Lebanon, with Jezzine area considered as a priority in conservation actions. Finally, chemical profiling should be conducted to valorise the Lebanese Matricaria species.


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