Systematic identification of African Sapindaceae using DNA barcoding
Sapindaceae Jussieu is a family of flowering plants in the Order Sapindales. Members of the family exist as trees and shrubs, and tendril-bearing vines with about 140-150 genera and 1400-2000 species worldwide. They are economically, medicinally and aesthetically useful. This research aimed at exploring the diversity of Sapindaceae in West and Central Africa with particular emphasis on identification of the plant samples as well as generation of DNA barcodes with a view to sharing the DNA barcode sequence(s) in a public database. These were achieved following standard protocols. Extracted DNA samples (119) were deposited at the DNA Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond and voucher specmens were deposited at the University of Lagos Herbarium, Lagos, Nigeria. Silica gel dried specimens yielded good quality DNA unlike the old dried herbarium leaf samples. DNA samples were sent to International Barcode of Life (IBOL) Centre in Guelph, Canada for analysis of the barcode region and sixty-nine (69) DNA barcodes were generated. Barcode data which was hinged on matK and rbcL sequence data have been deposited at the Barcode of Life database (BOLD) website and GenBank for public use. This research therefore forms a basis for further taxonomic work on the family Sapindaceae especially in Africa.
Keywords: Africa, Bio-conservation, DNA barcodes, Identification, Sapindaceae.