Fingerprinting Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. varieties and cultivars using ALFP analyses
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Pennisetum Rich, is one of the most important genera in the family Poaceae because it includes forage and crop species such as Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. and Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br. Both P. purpureum and P. glaucum have a number of cultivars and varieties arising due to natural crossing which are very difficult to distinguish morphologically. P. purpureum and P. glaucum also hybridize naturally because they are protogynous and cross pollinated. The resulting hybrids are highly sterile and resemble P. purpureum. Lepidopteran stem borers cause great yield loss in maize produced by resource-poor farmers in Africa and are managed by habitat management or push-pull strategies, in which P. purpureum cultivars and hybrids are used as a trap crop. The aims of this project were to genotype different P. purpureum cultivars and hybrids using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) as well as Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) in order to identify cultivars and hybrids and possible misidentifications, assess the congruency of results between AFLPs and RAPDs and to attempt to relate these results to the oviposition preference of Chilo partellus for different P. purpureum cultivars. The individuals to be fingerprinted were collected from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a few from the USA and one from China. The AFLP analysis of these individuals were done with primer combinations EcoRI/MseI and Mlul/Msel on polyacrylamide gels and an ABI 3130 xl Genetic Analyzer respectively. The automated sequencer visualized more bands than the polyacrylamide gels. The RAPD technology was not developed any further after 17 primers were tested and no polymorphic bands detected. Overall results indicated that cultivars did not cluster according to geographical origin, and cultivars known by popular names did not always cluster together, indicating diversity within the cultivar or misidentifications. An example of a misidentification is the cultivar Green Gold being no other than cultivar Harare, or cultivar Swaziland 3 being cultivar Sanitas. Proper management by nursery managers cannot be stressed enough, as this will prevent plants getting mixed up, causing confusion. There was no relationship between the relatedness of cultivars and moth oviposition preference. The AFLP technology could be a powerful tool for the DNA fingerprinting and molecular characterization of this grass species, but poor germ plasm management negates its application.
- ETD@PUK