International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology
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Article Number - 1B43AF059701


Vol.8(4), pp. 18-24 , August 2016
DOI: 10.5897/IJGMB2016.0124
ISSN: 2006-9863



Full Length Research Paper

Genetic diversity analysis in South African taro (Colocasia esculenta) accessions using molecular tools



Mwamba Nguluta
  • Mwamba Nguluta
  • Departtment of Biotechnology, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
Patrick Adebola
  • Patrick Adebola
  • Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Google Scholar
Michael Pillay*
  • Michael Pillay*
  • Departtment of Biotechnology, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 04 March 2016  Accepted: 21 June 2016  Published: 31 August 2016

Copyright © 2016 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


Taro [Colocasia esculenta (L) Schott] belongs to the family Araceae. It is an important staple food crop grown mainly by small scale farmers in many parts of the world. Taro is grown in South Africa from the coastal parts of the northern Eastern Cape to the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. Although it is an important staple in South Africa, very little information exists on the genetic diversity of the crop. Knowledge of the genetic diversity of a crop is important for breeding programmes. The aim of this study is to assess the genetic diversity of taro using ITS2 sequencing and assess whether the ITS2 secondary structures could be used as a taxonomic marker to group the taro accessions. Currently, taro accessions in South Africa have not been placed into any type of groups and the accessions are named from the locality where they are collected. The ITS2 sequence data separated the accessions into 4 clusters. The accessions did not group according to geographical locations. The ITS2 secondary structure had one common motif present in all 25 accessions suggesting that it could be used as a taxonomic marker for taro. Other motifs were able to place taro accessions into groups. The discovery of these motifs strengthens the potential of the ITS2 secondary structure as taxonomic marker in taro. The high genetic diversity provides taro breeders a selection of parents for the improvement of taro.

Key word: Root crop, genetic diversity, internal transcribed spacer2.

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APA Nguluta, M., Adebola, P., & Pillay, M. (2016). Genetic diversity analysis in South African taro (Colocasia esculenta) accessions using molecular tools. International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology, 8(4), 18-24.
Chicago Mwamba Nguluta, Patrick Adebola and Michael Pillay. "Genetic diversity analysis in South African taro (Colocasia esculenta) accessions using molecular tools." International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology 8, no. 4 (2016): 18-24.
MLA Mwamba Nguluta, Patrick Adebola and Michael Pillay. "Genetic diversity analysis in South African taro (Colocasia esculenta) accessions using molecular tools." International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology 8.4 (2016): 18-24.
   
DOI 10.5897/IJGMB2016.0124
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/IJGMB/article-abstract/1B43AF059701

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