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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Patterns of phenotypic variation in endod (Phytolacca dodecandra) from Ethiopia

Kassa Semagn, Brita Stedje, Asmund Bjornstad

Abstract


The extent of morphological variability of endod (Phytolacca dodecandra) sampled from 17 localities in Ethiopia that varied from 1600 to 3000 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l) was investigated using 16 characters. Statistical analyses were performed using leaf hairiness and altitude as categorical variables. Cluster analysis performed using average taxonomic distance matrix revealed the separation of most plants into their respective leaf hairiness and altitude groups. When leaf hairiness was used as categorical variable, canonical discriminant analysis performed using characters selected by the stepwise procedure revealed the distinct separation of all glabrous plants from the pubescent ones with the slightly pubescent plants being intermediate. Classificatory discriminant analysis was used to assign 95.8% of the plants into their respective hairiness groups. Our data therefore support the hypothesis that pubescent forms are highly likely to be a different taxon. For altitude groups, canonical discriminant analysis performed using characters selected by the stepwise procedure resulted to the separation of most plants into lowland (1600-2100 m.a.s.l.), central highlands (2101-2500 m.a.s.l.), and highland (2501-3000 m.a.s.l) groups. Classificatory discriminant analysis was able to assign 70.8% of the plants into their respective altitude groups. However, all results from discriminant analyses of the morphological data were not strong enough to support the presence of morphological ecotypes in endod along altitudinal gradients.

Key Words: Altitude, endod, morphological variation, Phytolacca dodecandra, pubescence.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol.3(1) 2004: 32-39



http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/AJB2004.000-2006
AJOL African Journals Online