Sideroxylon mascatense (A.DC.) T.D.Penn is a wild fruit-producing plant belonging to the family Sapotaceae and found in North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. There are two main morphotypes according to existing literature, which are only known to coexist in Oman at high-altitudes, and are known by their vernacular names ‘Būt’ and ‘Hegimt’. For the current study, AFLP fingerprinting was used to analyze the molecular characteristics of these two morphotypes in Oman. The analysis revealed low to moderate levels of gene diversity for S. mascatense with h = 0.169–0.2148 varying by collection site. Genetic diversity of Būt was higher than that of Hegimt at h = 0.2093 and h = 0.1751 respectively. A moderate and significant level of genetic differentiation was found among morphotypes of S. mascatense (Fst = 0.1037 P-value < 0.00000; Nm = 2.16) according to the analysis of molecular variation (AMOVA). The cluster analysis separated the samples tested into two main clades, one with mostly ‘Būt’ and the other with mostly ‘Hegimt’ specimens. The current study, being the first of its type to analyze the molecular characteristics of S. mascatense, builds a foundation for future work on this unique mountain species that spans the arid regions of Asia and Africa.
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