The chemotaxonomic significance of leaf wax n-alkanes was studied in three species ofAnthocleista Afzel. Identification of alkane components were determined by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) data. In all, fourteen alkanes were identified, ranging from tetracosane (C24H50) to heptriacontane (C37H76). Tetracosane, pentacosane and heptriacontane were the major components in all the three species of Anthocleista. A. djalonensis and A. vogeliiwere characterized by high percentages of tetracosane (28.81 and 39.14%, respectively), whereas in A. nobilis heptriacontane (C37H76) was the major component being 24.76%. Significant correlation between A. djalonensis and A. vogelii (r = 0.884 and p = 0.000) at 0.01 implies a probable closeness between these species. However, the result obtained in this study provides further evidence of chemotaxonomic significance.
Key words: Leaf wax, leaf alkanes, Anthocleista, Loganiaceae, alkane distribution, chemotaxonomy.
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