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Morphological and molecular Barcoding characterization of four invasive species of Solanaceae in the Southern region of Saudi Arabia
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  • Manal ALshaqhaa,
  • Mona Alwhibi,
  • Muhammad Afzal,
  • Mohammed O Alshaharni
Manal ALshaqhaa
King Khalid University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mona Alwhibi
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Muhammad Afzal
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Mohammed O Alshaharni
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Invasive plants are the second greatest threat to plant diversity, after habitat loss due to human activities. Plant diversity hotspots and islands, as well as farmlands, woodlands, forests, grasslands, and populated areas, are all threatened by invasive species. Over the centuries, and especially in the last few decades, trade and travel have increased dramatically, hastening the introduction of alien species. Although comprehensive sampling is necessary for DNA barcoding, it is rarely done due to a lack of materials. In practice, only a few species from each genus must be identified, rather than all of them. In many of Saudi Arabia’s most problematic habitats in the southwestern region, where the presence of invasive species was significant. As a result, in the current application of DNA barcodes, identifying a given species using a limited sample is important. In the case of incomplete sampling, DNA barcodes can provide reliable specific-species discrimination. For that purpose, the current study was designed to identify the four invasive species in the southern part of Saudi Arabia using morphological and 4 molecular barcoding (ITS, PsbA, rbcla, matk,) markers were used for the identification and characterization of invasive species. The results suggested identifying the 4 invasive plants species in the southwestern region. A phylogenetic tree was also constructed from the identified four species along with reference sequences of the blast results from the NCBI confirmed the four Solanaceae species i.e., Datura innoxia, Datura stramonium, Nicotiana glauca, and Withania somnifera, recorded invasive in the southern part of Saudi Arabia. Except for the matK tree, all the trees clustered individuals of the same species together and separately from the other species.