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Title: Cytology, ploidy and molecular taxonomy of Prosopis juliflora DC and Prosopis pallida HBK
Author: Sherry, Minu
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2012
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Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. and P. pallida (H.&.B. ex Willd.) H.B.K. occur naturally in the Americas and they are morphologically similar species. They are multipurpose trees and their ability to grow in poor soil conditions has encouraged their introduction throughout the arid regions of the tropics and semi tropics. The taxonomy of the genus Prosopis Linnaeus emend. Burkart is unclear and a revision of the genus is suggested by several studies. Due to their similarity, the differentiation of P. juliflora and P. pallida is difficult. Although there has been some success in differentiating the species using ploidy, leaf morphology and molecular markers, further approaches are required. This study looked for suitable cytological characters and molecular markers that would differentiate the two tropical species. The cytological character analysis allowed for the development of a dichotomous key for their identification based on leaf stomatal characters. Stomatal length and epidermal cell density are the two characters on which the keys were developed. Correct identification of the species will allow for genetic improvement programmes and conservation efforts in the native regions. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that P. juliflora and P. pallida were separable into two groups. This could help in the classification of unknown herbarium specimens or previously misidentified samples. The phylogenetic relationship of the two species is also disputed and previous RAPD studies show close genetic similarity between the two species, suggesting a reconsideration of the series within section Algarobia. There are also disputes regarding the geographical distribution of both species and naming of new species. In this study, similarity index analysis and cluster analysis on the RAPD data revealed P. juliflora to be more closely related to North American Prosopis spp. than to P. pallida.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available