Molecular biology techniques like protein markers, genetic markers like RAPD, RFLP, AFLP etc. have been used for long time for characterizing  terrestrial plants, all over the world. However, little work has been carried out exclusively on mangrove plants owing to the fact that existence of mangroves is limited to coastal environment and availability of research institutes in the vicinity. This has lead to a slow progress in molecular biology studies of mangroves plants. It is seen that protein markers which played the initial role in attempting to characterize core mangrove plants, could not be used as sole marker since these have been found in mangrove associates. A clear profile of these markers that would serve as a signature identification could not be identified. With change in time and development of genetic markers, tools like RAPD, AFLP and SNPs were used. These markers gave much more stable results than protein marker, but, their reproducibility posed a challenge. ISSR markers have also been studied and used, which seem to have proven one of the most stable marker system for organisms. DNA barcoding is one of the most upcoming areas of molecular characterization, and the challenges are enormous. This paper is an attempt to summarize the molecular biology tools that have been used at different points of time, during the evolution of molecular characterization of mangrove plants, and, the strengths and drawbacks of all these techniques.


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