Genetic polymorphism in wild and cultivated Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Zingiberaceae)

Nozuko Makhuvha, Ben Erik Van Wyk, Herman Van Der Bank, Michelle Van Der Bank

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Horizontal starch gel-electrophoresis was utilized to estimate genetic diversity within a natural population of wild ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicus) and individuals of the species cloned for commercial purposes. The aim of this study was to determine if electrophoresis is useful in studying genetic variation in S. aethiopicus. In the wild population, 50 plants revealed genetic variation at 11 (50%) of the 22 enzyme coding loci studied The percentage of polymorphic loci (P) was 50, a value of 1 55 (± 0.13) was obtained for the mean number of alleles per locus (A) and the average heterozygosity per locus (H) was calculated at 0.177 (± 0.044). These values were 4.55, 1.05 (± 0.05), and 0.023 (± 0.023), respectively, for the cultivated clones. Allozyme data for the wild population is compared with that of two sources of cultivated specimens, showing that genetic fingerprinting of S. aethiopicus clones can be achieved by using only 11 polymorphic loci and that the two cultivated clones probably originated from the same source. The exceptionally high allelic heterogeneity obtained for individuals (clonal polymorphism) may be due to the synergistic effects of vegetative and sexual reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • African wild ginger
  • Allozyme fingerprinting
  • Electrophoresis
  • Genetic diversity
  • Siphonochilus aethiopicus
  • Zingiberaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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