Solanum L., the largest genus of the Solanaceae family, vary morphologically, is diverse in number and is ecogeographically distributed. In Nigeria, previous studies had focused mainly on chromosome morphology, genome description and medicinal values, which are insufficient for genetic affinities. This study used four highly polymorphic random amplified polymorphic DNA primers to describe both the genetic relatedness and variability among 25 accessions of eggplant from Southwestern Nigeria. At a truncated line of 65%, five clusters and two ungrouped samples are distinguishable from the dendrogram. The data reveals that Solanum dasyphyllum Schum. & Thonn. is more closely related to Solanum macrocarpon L. than to Solanum melongena L. The relatedness between Solanum incanum L. and Solanum melongena, a probability of being progenitors from a common ancestral lineage was also shown. Occurrence of Solanum scabrum L. and Solanum nigrum L. in the same clusters different from S. melongena, is an indication of distant relatedness to S. melongena but close relatedness between them. High level of polymorphism was observed in this study going by the coefficient of variation which exhibited a good separation from a conserved region of the genome. This study, therefore, reveals a wide and diverse genetic base in Nigerian eggplant Solanum.
Key words: Eggplant, genome, synonymy, polymorphism, phylogenetic.
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