African Journal of Biotechnology

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Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) analysis of species of Solanum section Solanum (Solanaceae) from Uganda

EA Olet, KA Lye, M Heun


The taxonomy of species belonging to Solanum section Solanum (sometimes referred to as the Solanum nigrum complex or black nightshades) is known to be difficult and has resulted in extensive synonymy. Yet, these species play a significant role in nutrition and food security, especially in developing countries. The amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) technique was used to assess the genetic relationships among 107 accessions representing eight species of the section Solanum and to obtain new insight into the taxonomic status of the S. nigrum complex. Four primer combinations yielded 510 AFLP bands, only 29 of which were monomorphic. Neighbor-joining and principal coordinates analyses were performed. The AFLP data only partially correlated with earlier classifications based on morphology. We have been able to confirm the presence of only 5 out of eight species of this complex previously recognized from Uganda, that is, Solanum americanum, Solanum scabrum, Solanum hirsutum, Solanum florulentum/Solanum tarderemotum and Solanum villosum. In addition, S. villosum did not separate in accordance with previous subspecific ranks. It is likely that neither Solanum grossidentatum, S. nigrum nor Solanum sarrachoides occurred in Uganda. Also, there was no correlation between geographic localities for the Ugandan material and the AFLP results, indicating that most of the studied species are introduced.

Key words: Amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), Solanum nigum complex, Africa, genetic variation, taxonomy, Uganda.

AJOL African Journals Online