Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Forestry (MF)




Camptotheca Decaisne is the major source of the promising anti-cancer alkaloids camptothecins. The main objectives of this study are (1) to reveal the genetic diversity of Camptotheca and to identify taxa with RAPD markers; (2) to determine the camptothecin (CPT) variations within and among different populations and taxa, with tissues, season, and age; and (3) to determine the effects of environmental stress on the camptothecin production in Camptotheca. RAPD markers provide a powerful tool for the identification of some populations (particularly cultivars) and the detection of genetic variation within Camptotheca. Three primers (OPA02, OPA03, and OPA04), generating 44 polymorphic bands using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, were able to discriminate among 25 Camptotheca populations. The band size varied from 268-4,411 bp, with an average of 15 bands/primer. Of these populations, 'Katie', HJ population of C. acuminata, and 'Ang' can be easily distinguished by their unique bands. Population differentiation of Camptotheca was found to be higher than in other species with similar breeding systems. All populations were therefore genetically distinctive and each should be considered as a management unit. The high level of genetic structure among populations indicates differentiation due to founder events and/or genetic drift coupled with limited migration.



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