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Crop Science Abstract -

Isozyme Diversity in Bambara Groundnut


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 39 No. 4, p. 1228-1236
    Received: Mar 9, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): plgepts@ucdavis.edu
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  1. Rémy S. Pasquet,
  2. Sonya Schwedes and
  3. Paul Gepts 
  1. ORSTOM, Univ. of California, Dep. of Agronomy and Range Science, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8515 and ORSTOM, ICIPE, P.O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya;



Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranea (L.) Verde.] is an important crop in many countries of tropical Africa. Compared with other leguminous crops, little is known about the organization of its genetic diversity. Our goal was to investigate its population structure and the partitioning of genetic diversity between domesticated and wild accessions. Seventy-nine accessions of domesticated and 21 wild Bambara groundnut populations were evaluated for genetic diversity at 41 isozyme loci, representing 23 enzyme systems. Domesticated accessions were characterized by very low genetic diversity (Ht = 0.052) with only 7 polymorphic loci. Wild populations were characterized by higher genetic diversity (Ht = 0.087), with 14 polymorphic. This suggests a marked bottleneck between wild and domesticated forms. Intrapopulation diversity was comparatively high (Hs = 0.033 for domesticated and Hs = 0.025 for wild populations) despite the near absence of heterozygous individuals, which suggests a predominantly selfing mode of pollination in both wild and domesticated Bambara groundnut High genetic identity between wild and domesticated forms suggests that wild Bambara groundnut is the true progenitor of domesticated Bambara groundnut. Both morphological and isozyme data show a gradient between true wild and domesticated Bambara groundnut through weedy populations. The improved understanding of the organization of genetic diversity of Bambara groundnut provided by our data will allow a better conservation of its genetic resources.

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