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Kleynhans R.,Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute VOPI | Kleynhans R.,University of the Free State | Spies P.,University of the Free State | Spies J.J.,University of the Free State
Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology | Year: 2012

The genus Lachenalia (family Asparagaceae), endemic to southern Africa, is a horticultural diverse genus, with many species featuring in the red data list of southern Africa. The extensive morphological variation within some species complicates species delimitation and has led to taxonomic confusion. The genus is utilised in a breeding programme where cytogenetic and phylogenetic information is important for the development of breeding strategies. Chromosome numbers of 89 species have been recorded in literature, with 2n = 10 to 56 and n = 5 to 28. B-chromosomes have been described in some species. Basic chromosome numbers include x = 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, (probably 10), 11, (probably 12), 13 and (probably 15). Polyploidy was reported in 19 taxa (23%), and is most common in the x = 7 group. Molecular cytogenetic studies using 5S rDNA, 18S rDNA probes and DAPI staining, as well as molecular systematic studies using trnL-F and ITS1-2 were used to assess the phylogeny of the genus. All these studies indicated that species with the same basic chromosome number are closely related. The one deviation is that it appears as if there are two separate groups within the x = 7 group. The cytogenetic and molecular studies are further supported by breeding studies, where improved results are generally obtained from crosses within a phylogenetic group or between closely related groups. This review of the literature reveals how different studies obtain similar results regarding the phylogenetic relationships within the genus and how these results can be utilized to improve breeding strategies. It also accentuates that further multidisciplinary studies are needed to solve the evolutionary history of the complex genus Lachenalia. Source

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