Numerical taxonomic study of some solanum l. Species (solanaceae) using vegetative and floral morphological Characters
This study employs the all inclusive numerical techniques to evaluate the taxonomic status of some species in the genus Solanum (Solanaceae) using vegetative and floral characters. This is an effort to resolve some of the conflicting taxonomic issues which arose as a result of gross morphological variability between and within species due to human interference and other factors. Ten species covering six taxonomic sections were investigated which includes: S. aethiopicum Linn., S. americanum Mill, S. anomalum Thonning, S. erianthum D Don, S. gilo Raddi, S. macrocarpon Linn., S. melongena Linn., S. nigrum Linn., S. torvum Sw. and S. wrightii Benth. A total of 49 attributes comprising 35 qualitative and 14 quantitative characters were studied and coded for analysis. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Single Linkage Cluster Analysis (SLCA) were employed to elucidate the relationship among the taxa of the genus, while similarity matrix and dendrogram were constructed. PCA factor loading of the characters showed that characters such as plant height, leaf margin and leaf base are important in delimiting the taxa studied. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated the usefulness of numerical techniques in taxonomic work, with the combination of a number of morphological characters to achieve copious delimitation with greater implication for the taxonomy of these species and the genus.
Keywords: Numerical Taxonomy, Solanum, Plant Morphology, PCA, SCLA,