Genetic Diversity of Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) Accessions Along an Elevation Transect in Kenya
Anna Chládová1, Bohdan Lojka1, Marie Kalousová1, Bohumil Mandák2, Jakub Houška3, Katja Kehlenbeck4
1Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Dept. of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Czech Republic
Adansonia digitata L. (Malvaceae) is a huge multipurpose tree of the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, with high economic potential for local communities. The edible fruits and leaves are known for their high nutritional values and can be used fresh or processed. However, a high intra-specific variability regarding morphology, genetics and nutritional content of baobab and its products is documented for several African regions, while data for Kenya is largely lacking. This study aimed at documenting the genetic and morphological variability of baobab accessions in Kenya and at checking the presence of the newly described diploid baobab species Adansonia kilima. Samples were collected from 204 baobab trees from seven populations defined by geographical distance in South-eastern and Coastal Kenya at altitudes of 6-1,058 m asl. Leaf or bark samples for genetic diversity assessment were collected from all 204 trees, while leaves only from 65 and fruits from 76 trees (all in inland locations) for morphological analyses based on the publication ‘Descriptors for Baobab'. Nine microsatellite loci were used to assess genetic variation and results analysed with specific software because of the tetraploid nature of baobab.
Keywords: Conservation, domestication, genetic markers, microsatellites (SSR), morphological diversity
Contact Address: Anna Chládová, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Dept. of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Prague, Czech Republic, e-mail: anickachladovagmail.com