Ribosomal DNA variation in landraces of bambara groundnut
AbstractThe ribosomal DNA (rDNA) is a basic component of all eukaryotic chromosomes which codes for rRNA. The rDNA is made of tandemly repeated units of 18S, 5.8S, 28S, ITS and IGS. The 18S, 5.8S and 28S are coding regions while the ITS and IGS are non coding. The rDNA evolves in a concerted manner such that rDNA units within an individual are almost completely identical making it a useful tool in taxonomic studies. The rDNA marker is used to discriminate between species in the same or different genus. Bambara groundnut is an under-utilized legume that is highly nutritious and adapted to low input farming systems. Despite its potential, Bambara groundnut is still cultivated in the form of landraces, and no true varieties have been developed. Precise estimate of genetic variation and genetic relationship is sine qua non for the development of improved cultivars. About 48 individual seeds (3 each) from seven landraces of Bambara groundnut, 9 wild/cultivated species of other legumes (cowpea, mungbean and groundnut) were used in this study. Analysis of the rDNA gene unit shows genetic variation in the species of the genus Vigna and Arachis. The UPGMA dendrogram constructed separates the plant species in this study into three (3) main clusters. The landraces of Bambara groundnut were placed in two different clusters indicating variation of rDNA gene units between the landraces. The analysis of rDNA gene in this study reveals the presence of genetic variation between the landraces of Bambara groundnut which could be used by scientists and breeders in the production of improved cultivars.
Keywords: Ribosomal DNA, Bambara groundnut, ITS, IGS, DNA variation
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(35), pp. 5395-5403