Seed storage protein profiles of 10 members of the family Fabaceae were assessed using sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Total seed storage protein of the studied plants resolved on 10% SDS polyacrylamide gels showed variations in their banding pattern. Results of SDS-PAGE pattern also revealed a band common to all the plant species studied which suggests that this band could be tagged as generic band among members of Fabaceae. The maximum genetic affinity of 0.93 was observed between Vigna subterranea and Arachis hypogaea, while minimum genetic affinity of 0.32 was observed between Senna siamea and Albizia lebbeck which further reveal wide genetic diversity among the studied plant species. This observation also suggested that V. subterranea (Bambara groundnut) and A. hypogaea (groundnut) are genetically very close and should be put together taxonomically. Nineteen (19) major bands were recorded and only S. siamea had two specific bands which indicate that these two bands could be used to distinguish this species from other legumes considered in this study. It could be concluded that SDS-protein electrophoresis is an important tool for genetic analysis and this protocol has revealed a considerable amount of genetic diversity among the 10 studied plant species for their discrimination.
Key words: Fabaceae, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), storage protein, genetic affinity, electrophoresis.
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